Buying a home is a complicated process. With so many details to keep track of, it is already hard enough to figure out if you like a house or not. Once you’ve settled on a place, closing on the home can seem overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to closing on your future home.
What Every Buyer Should Do Before Closing on a Home: Title Search
One of the most important things you need to do before you officially close on a home is to perform a title search. When you buy a home, you purchase the title, meaning the rights and ownership of the property.
A title search is a search of title records to determine the stipulated rights that come with the purchase of the home in question as well as if the person from whom you are buying the home actually has the right to sell it.
Performing this step allows you to know if the title is clean so that you can avoid any legal battles in the future. If one of the seller’s distant relatives surfaces years later claiming that the house belongs to him, having performed a title search before you bought the home will save you a huge hassle.
Get an Inspection
Another essential step you should take before you buy a home is getting a home inspection. Basically, before you close, your realtor will commission a home inspector to look at all aspects of the house to find any previously unknown problems. Home inspections can reveal all kinds of issues, such as problems with the roofing.
Something like the condition of the roof is hard to gauge without an expert’s opinion. But having that opinion can avert you to damage that may suggest that there is potentially more damage than that of which you had been previously made aware. Knowing that there is roof damage can suggest that there may be mold where water was able to seep in. it could even suggest deeper structural damage.
What Every Buyer Should Do Before Closing on a Home: Complete All Contingencies
Practically all purchase agreements have contingencies—conditions that must be met by either or both sides before the purchase can be completed. Typically, these contingencies protect the buyer in the case of unforeseen problems that arise with either the buyer’s ability to pay or with the condition of the home.
Common contingencies include a home inspection, an appraisal, and in some cases, a home sale contingency. Basically, before you can close on the home, you will need to meet these different contingencies—then, once you have met the contingencies and if you still feel good about going forward and purchasing the home, you can start the closing process.
Lock in Closing Costs and Interest Rate
What does it mean to lock closing costs and interest rates? Basically, when you are planning on buying a home but need to get a mortgage from a lender like a bank to pay for it, the bank will draft up a bunch of fees that you are required to pay in order for them to process your mortgage.
Of the fees, the lender typically charges you for attorney fees to draft the mortgage, insurance for the property for the bank, and a credit report fee. After they’ve given you an estimate of the cost of these fees, you can choose to “lock them in.” This means that you and the lender will agree on a fixed interest rate on the closing costs that will last a number of days while you finalize the sale.
There are pros and cons to this. Pros—the market rate may go up and you won’t have to pay as much as you would have. Cons—if the market rate goes down, you still have to pay the agreed-upon rate.
What Every Buyer Should Do Before Closing on a Home: Ask the Seller to Lower the Price
Once you’ve decided on closing costs, you may want to turn around and see if the seller is willing to help offset some of the closing costs. Depending on how desperate the seller is to sell the home, they may be willing to lower the home price in order to help you cover those other costs.
Review the Terms of Your Mortgage
Once you’ve locked in your closing costs and have finalized the sale price of the home, it’s time to take a final look at the mortgage. Now that you have the full financial picture of what purchasing this home will cost upfront, scrutinize the terms of the mortgage.
Do you feel good about the mortgage payment schedule? The interest rate? Making sure that you are truly ready to sign a mortgage is one of the most important steps in the closing process. Signing up for something that may be more than you can handle is ultimately a big mistake.
What Every Buyer Should Do Before Closing on a Home: Do a Last Walk-Through
Now that everything is lined up for the final closing, perform a final walk-through of the home before the actual closing day. You’ll typically want to do this 24 hours before you actually close. It’s a good opportunity to ensure that the previous owners are completely moved out to your satisfaction and that anything the seller had agreed to fix is completed to your satisfaction as well.
Bring the Right Documentation to the Closing
The big day has arrived. It’s time to finally close on your home. Even though you’ve already jumped through many hoops to actually get to this point, it’s important to know what documentation you need to have ready at closing. Being aware of this before the actual day arrives can help you have it ready to go when it’s time.
Some of the documentation includes your own government ID, a copy of your contract with the seller, the reports from your home inspection report, and any documentation from the lender that demonstrates you were approved for your loan.
Buying a house is quite the process. First, you spend hours on end walking through different houses deciding if there is one that fits you and your family’s needs. When you finally do find a house you love, figuring out the process of closing on it can seem complicated. Start with these steps to get an idea of how the closing process will work.
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Steelbridge Realty LLC is a Licensed Real Estate Brokerage that utilizes cutting-edge marketing techniques and data-driven Real Estate solutions in today’s ever-changing environment. Our group of professionals have decades of experience and have navigated through many business cycles. Our diverse background gives us the tools to guide people towards successful decisions.