Welcome Home! A Complete Closing Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers
Are you one of the over 3 million people who bought a house this year and is about to close? If so, congratulations! Or, maybe you’re knee-deep in the home buying process and wondering how the closing process works. Either way, you’re in the right place.
If you want to know exactly what to expect at closing (spoiler alert: it requires a bit more than just showing up to collect your keys!), keep reading. Our closing checklist will tell you exactly what you need to know to finalize your purchase and get your keys!
Closing Checklist: Start Here
The first thing you should know about a closing date is that it’s rarely set in stone. Unfortunately, it might come down to the wire before you get the ok to close from your mortgage broker (it’s not unheard of for closing to get postponed the day before or even the day of).
Of course, there are things that you can (and should!) do to make sure this doesn’t happen.
1. Be Prepared and Check In Often
Make sure you provide your mortgage broker with everything they need in a timely manner. This is where closings often stall. The mortgage broker needs to provide the final approval for the closing as he or she is the one who will authorize the check for the purchase.
While you don’t want to be a pest, make sure you are in close communication with them to make sure everything is on schedule. Your realtor can help with this too. For example, if they need paystubs, ThePayStubs can help you generate instant pay stubs to document your income.
2. Do a Walkthrough
You’ll want to do a walkthrough of the property before the closing, especially if the sellers agreed to any repairs or alterations. Once you sign the papers, the house is yours, so if everything isn’t up to par, you’ll need to know that. Do a walkthrough the morning of the closing, if possible, to make sure everything is to your satisfaction.
3. Bring Everything You Need to the Closing
Make sure you’re prepared at the closing with everything you need. Your realtor or the title company will generally tell you exactly what you’ll need, but in general, a photo ID and a cashier’s check for anything you are paying towards the closing costs is required. Don’t delay the closing over forgotten documents.
4. Be Prepared to Sign Your Name A LOT
Buying a home requires a lot of paperwork and a lot of signatures. Be prepared to sign your name more than you’ve ever signed it before and make sure your signature looks just like your legal signature or else that could hold things up.
5. Get Your Keys and Be On Your Way!
When the closing is finished, you’ll hopefully get your keys and be on your way to your new home! In some cases, though, the sellers get a bit more time in the home before you get your keys.
If this is your situation, make sure you know exactly when you gain possession of the home (this should be spelled out in the purchase agreement) and know how you will get the keys and get in the home when the time comes.
Enjoy Your New Home!
Now that you’ve completed your closing checklist, it’s time to celebrate! Congratulations, you’ve made it through the home buying process, which isn’t always for the faint of heart!
For more information on commercial and residential real estate listings in your area, check out our services and the other areas of our blog.