So you’ve started the process of buying a home and the seller has finally accepted your offer. Hooray, the end is in sight! However, there is still one thing left: closing.
The purchasing process initiates as soon as a seller accepts a buyer’s offer, and ends at settlement. While exciting, finalizing the purchase of a home can be stressful if you are not prepared. Here are six steps to help you complete the closing process successfully and confidently:
- Choose a Title Company: Having the help of a title agent, title company or real estate attorney is a must to ensure every aspect of the closing process is met. Title agents assist in streamlining the process of escrow and title transition from seller to buyer, handle finances and hold all paperwork and funds related to the purchase for all parties. A title company ensures the title of the home is free of any liens, judgments and other defects.
- Set Your Expectations: Ensure the timelines and conditions laid out in your contract for inspections, appraisal and mortgage commitment are met. Consider a walk-through contingency to appease both the buyer and seller with the home purchase. It is important to note each contingency may have a time limit and it is the buyer’s responsibility to make sure they are completed on time.
- Inspect the Home: While often optional and costly, home inspections offer a clear picture of the home’s condition. A few things you might want to ask your professional home inspectors to check for are termites, water leaks, structural defects, property boundaries and housing code compliance. Make sure you ask any questions and receive a copy of the summary and report detailing any significant issues with the home once the inspection is complete. This is your time to assess the home and bring any issues to the seller’s attention.
- Get Insured: Once the title company clears the home title, title insurance is issued to eliminate the possibility of disputes between you and your lender over the property. There are two types of insurance policies available: Lender’s Title Policy and Owner’s Title Policy. A Lender’s Title Policy, required to be purchased by the buyer, protects the lender and owner against claims made about the property. An Owner’s Title Policy is an optional additional purchase for the buyer. Homeowner’s insurance is also required by lenders to protect against theft or damage to the property and your belongings. Other options include:
- Flood insurance, depending on the home’s flood zone.
- Home warranties
- Complete a Final Walk-Through: Take a stroll around the home to make sure that nothing has changed since the home inspection. Make sure to check every area of the house — this is your last chance to address any discrepancies with the home before you sign the paperwork and are legally bound to the property!
- Sign, Seal and Pay: It’s finally the day you’ve been waiting for: settlement day! This is the last step of the home-buying process. The ownership of the home officially transfers from the seller to you, the seller receives payment and you get the keys to your new home.
Congratulations, you’ve completed the closing process of buying a home! Check out our mortgage page or call 888-LOAN-391 to learn how we can help you get into a new home at a low rate today.