Closing surprises: Prepare for the unexpected when you close on a house
Getting the keys to your new house on closing day is a very exciting moment. Prepare yourself for some of the most common surprises that may occur before closing.
Closing isn’t over until you have the keys in your hands. Until that point, the home is not legally yours. It’s important to know what happens during closing and to understand different things you can do to prepare for the big day.
To help make things go smoothly at closing and to avoid some potential last-minute surprises:
1. Inspect the property thoroughly — Make sure you have done a final walk-through and know exactly what you’re purchasing and its current state. It’s important to make sure the seller has held up their end of the bargain. Once you walk out of closing, the home is yours “as is” and you can no longer negotiate with the seller for repairs.
2. Review all documentation — Make sure the interest rate stated is what you were quoted, know when your first payment is due and where you are supposed to send it.
3. Get your money in order — Know how much money you need, where it needs to go, and how it needs to be delivered. Some typical closing costs include:
• Escrow fees
• Credit check
• Document prep fee
• Title insurance
• Miscellaneous fees such as courier or underwriter fees
4. Do not make any other large purchases that could affect your credit. Jason, a homebuyer, explains why: “Big ticket items, it will make your credit look less stellar than it is and there have been people who’s mortgages have been pulled from them and has to be delayed”.
5. Turn on utilities such as electric, gas, and water.
JA YUNG: There’s a saying that I think everybody knows, that it’s not over until the fat lady sings, and mortgages, I think that we kind of go by it’s not over until you have the keys in your hand.
JA YUNG: One of the surprises that can occur is that when you are getting through to closing after you’ve already received your approval letter that we may take another look at your credit or we may need to be able to ask for some additional documents like a most recent pay stub or a most recent bank statement.
TIANA: our closing date changed three or four times and for us, that was time is money because we were renting, so we had to continue to change our date – we had to pay more prorated rent, or we even considered putting stuff in storage.
SABRA: The whole process stretched out over 5 months. And there was a lot of little hiccups along the way. It wasn’t like one big delay. Like the first time, they had to file for some tax forms, that caused a month delay right there. And you know, it just – a lot of stuff like that.
JASON: and everything will be in line and then two or three days prior to you closing, the bank will then run another credit check on you and if you’ve purchased appliances and
JASON: Big ticket items, it will make your credit look less stellar than it is and there have been people who’s mortgages have been pulled from them
DIANE: And we needed to get a washer and dryer and a refrigerator. We made sure that when we did that, that we paid in cash so that we had paid for it and it wasn’t on our credit.
JASON: And sure enough, just like they said – two days prior it says, your credit has been pulled by such and such a bank and it would have been that case if we’d spent three, four thousand dollars on appliances. We still had stellar credit, but it wouldn’t have looked as good as it was prior.