Biting your nails as you clutch your certified check? Shaking out your tired, pen-clutching hand, hoping the last of the autographs look somewhat similar to your legal signature? Looking longingly toward the door, toward the end of the paperwork and the beginning of the home improvement projects? We realize that, for many homebuyers, particularly first-timers, the closing process is characterized by the light at the end of the tunnel. Buying a home is inevitably accompanied by a certain level of anxiety, and the gravity of the decision can potentially weigh down the excitement. However, a little knowledge about the process can empower and enable homebuyers to relax and proceed with confidence.
Closing represents the final step in a long journey to secure a desired property, and because of that, often becomes hurried. But not paying proper attention to all the paperwork associated with closing – cumbersome as it may be – is a mistake. There are ways to streamline the process, but doing so should not come at the cost of due diligence.
Here a few insider tips to keep in mind as you race eagerly down the homestretch toward securing your new home purchase:
1. Keep your schedule open the week before closing! Be ready to drop everything and head over to the title company to sign your closing documents. This process keeps you on your toes, which adds to the excitement of the purchase, provided you’re prepared.
2. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row, and all the necessary liquid funds for closing easily accessible. If you have to make three funds transfers between financial institutions in order to take out a certified or cashier’s check in the amount of the balance, allow yourself plenty of time to take care of that task because, if funds get held up in transit as the transaction is processing, you may be left twiddling your thumbs and rescheduling your movers. The same precaution applies if you are wiring funds; even if an individual assures you a wire transfer takes less than 24 hours to process, play it safe and allow for more time. These small steps will successfully ease stress and guarantee that you feel calm and in control of your closing.
3. Ask questions! Perhaps no piece of advice is more essential to a homebuyer, especially those navigating the sale process for the first time. Reach out to your network of real estate professionals; they’re there to guide you. There are no dumb questions, and there’s no reason you would know the inner workings of the process prior to embarking on your home buying journey. This process that is foreign to you is so familiar to professionals such as your escrow officer, so touching base with them may help you feel as though everything is as it should be. You will regret not taking the opportunity to gain clarity on certain elements of the loan terms, so consult all individuals at your disposal and have whomever you need present at the table.
4. Write down any questions or concerns to discuss on the day of your closing meeting, so you enter the room feeling organized and composed and leave feeling joyful and excited, with all loose ends tied in a neat bow around your homeownership dream. Be sure you have all the relevant paperwork with you, refer to each document accordingly as you go through the stages of closing and cross-reference the forms you were provided beforehand. Be prepared, be flexible, and be confident that you completed the closing process free of nagging questions.
5. Toast to your new home! You may now sip champagne on the floor of your new home, voice echoing between empty walls of potential, and pat yourself on the back for educating yourself and confidently completing a successful closing.