Although closing is your moment of truth in the home buying process—when the various pieces finally come together and, if all goes well, you walk away with the keys to your beautiful new home—it’s most often a straightforward process that should not be stressful or difficult.
If everything remains as expected with the home itself, with your finances, and with the seller, closing is smooth and happens quickly. That being said, there are certain considerations that buyers should take into account in case the process doesn’t work out so perfectly—what follows are a few of the most important.
DON’T skip the final walkthrough
As a buyer, the final walkthrough is your opportunity to ensure that the home you’re purchasing is in the condition you expect. You should perform the walkthrough as near to closing as possible, checking that any requested repairs have been performed and that the home is ready for sale. Closing day presents your last chance to address any lingering issues or unresolved problems—before they become your problem—and the actual closing process may go by faster than you can foresee. If something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to address it.
DO come prepared
In many cases, most of the documents you’ll sign at closing will be provided for you. In fact, you may even sign documents electronically, leaving little paperwork to be completed in person. With that in mind, you still need to make sure to come prepared on closing day, as any delays can be costly and problematic.
It might seem obvious, but have the money ready for the sale—pick up a check well ahead of time if necessary. Your lender or seller will likely require certain documents, such as proof of insurance, so make sure not to forget them. If you have questions or plan to address issues with the home during the closing, write it all down ahead of time—don’t rely on your memory in the moment.
DO give yourself ample time
Sometimes, closing is a blur. After all, if there are no major issues, you’ll simply sit around an office table, speak briefly, shake hands, and sign documents. But don’t forget that you’re making one of the most important financial decisions of your life—with that in mind, it’s better to give yourself more time than you think you’ll need. Don’t attempt to squeeze the closing in between appointments or during your lunch break, assuming the best-case scenario before you even arrive. Savvy buyers will also avoid closing right at the end of the month, providing a built-in cushion of at least a few days should anything go wrong.