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Step 8
Closing on Your Home

What to Look for During a Final Walk-Through

Once the inspector finishes their initial walk-through of the home, they will come to you with the report. From this report, it’s up to you and the seller to agree on potential improvements or other negotiations on the home. Once an agreement is made, you’re one step closer to becoming a homeowner, congratulations! Now is the time you wait for your final negotiations to be completed.

Once completed, you’re ready for the final walk-through. During this walk-through, it’s essential to keep in mind that this will be the last time you can see the property before taking ownership.

Final Walk-Through Checklist:

  • Turn all light fixtures on and off
  • Ensure no light fixtures have been removed
  • Turn the heating/cooling systems on and off
  • Flush all toilets
  • Turn on water faucets to check for leaks
  • Check the oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher
  • Test the garbage disposal and exhaust fan
  • Check all windows and doors
  • Check screens and storm windows
  • Check ceilings, floors, and walls for damp spots or stains
  • Check garage door opener
  • Look in storage areas for anything left behind
  • Check for any other agreed-upon repairs
  • Don’t forget: Check the exterior of the home for leaks, paint damage, drainage issues, and yard quality

When completing your final walk-through, bringing your purchase contract may come in handy. It’ll help remind you of the minor details you have agreed upon and to check them off as you go. Remember: You can complete the walk-through alone or with the seller. While many people prefer to do it alone, meeting with the seller will allow you some insight into the repairs and improvements made.

Clear to Close: Everything You Need to Know for Closing Day

As closing day is quickly approaching, it’s important to remember all of the time and work you’ve put into finding this home is coming to an end. While it can seem overwhelming, we over at Homes.com want to make sure you’re comfortable with what to expect during this process.

Who Will Be at the Closing of the Home?

While every case may be different, you can typically expect the closing agent and your real estate attorney to be there with you. Who is the closing agent? The closing agent is a third party who handles the legal documents of the sale, they were also agreed upon in your initial offer on the property. The seller most likely won’t be there, which is completely normal. In most cases, the buyer and seller rarely meet.

Documents to Bring

  1. A photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport.
  2. A certified check is needed for the closing costs and the down payment. Twenty-four hours before you arrive, your closing agent is required by law to inform you of the check’s amount, how many checks you need, and to whom they should be written.
  3. Proof of insurance may be required for the part of the sale, but the closing agent will need to see a copy as well.
  4. A final sale contract will be helpful just for reference. You can use it to double-check your agreements.

Documents to Sign

Once everything is looked over, you’ll start the signing process (phew!). There will be two significant contracts needing to be signed; one for your loans and one for the purchase of your home. There will be an additional 30-40 documents needing to be signed depending on what state you live in, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the documents you’ll most likely run across.

Closing the Purchase

  • Closing Disclosure: This is an itemized account of the buyer and the seller’s closing costs and is typically available three days before closing day, and if you have a chance to look it over beforehand, we highly recommend you do so.
  • Warranty Title: This is a legal description of the property that transfers the property from the seller to the buyer.
  • Proration Papers: This is the agreement by which the property taxes and utility bills are divided between buyer and seller; also, homeowner’s association fees, if applicable.
  • Statement of Identity: The title company uses this to clear up any confusion between you and someone who shares the same name.
  • Declaration of Reports: The buyer signs off that they have seen all inspection reports
  • Abstract of Title: This document is an important one which lists all of the legal papers that affect the title

Closing the Loan

  • Promissory Note: This is a promise to pay back the full sum of the loan, according to the terms laid out by the note.
  • Truth in Lending Statement: This is a description of your interest rate, annual percentage rate, amount being financed, and the total cost over the life of the loan.
  • Deed of Trust: This document states that you are putting your new home up as security against the debt you owe.
  • Monthly Payment Letter: This is a description of your monthly payment, with a breakdown of how much goes to principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Closing Questions to Answer

If it hasn’t already been taken care of in the sale contract, you’ll be asked how you want to take the title of the home. The answer will most likely be one of the following, Sole Owner, Joint Tenancy, or Tenants-in-Common.

When Do I Get My Keys?

Many homebuyers are surprised when they don’t get their keys right after they sign the papers at the closing agent’s office. There’s no need to worry if this is the case for you, the moment the documents get signed might not be your official closing date. You may have to wait until the city or county records the title. However, if something is taking longer than expected, there could be a benign error in the paperwork. To avoid these problems, try to schedule the signing of the papers early in the morning, and preferably not on a Friday, even though it’s the best day to celebrate closing on your new home!

Also, you should know that “closing” is not the same as “taking possession.” If the seller is having trouble moving, or cannot move out until a certain time, work that out as part of the offer in your contract. In these instances, the new owner renting out the home to the old owner becomes part of the home’s sale.

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