From Title to Total (ly Yours)-
A guide to a smooth closing when buying or selling a house:
Have you ever bought or sold a house? If the answer is yes, but it went about as badly as it possibly could have, or no but you will be soon, then this blog is for you! Every single time that there is a transfer of property from one entity to another, there has to be a closing (which always seems to involve A LOT of people just to sign some papers). It’s no short feat to have your closing go off without a hitch, and often times there are as many knowns as there are unknowns, but there are things you can do to minimize any potential hiccups you could experience.
When I bought my home, we almost didn’t have a final walkthrough. As first time homebuyers, we didn’t know that it was something we were entitled to do. This usually happens no more than 24 hours before your closing, just to make sure that everything is clean, functional, and to know what you’re walking into. Anytime you have the option, you should take it. It’s uncommon for a home to develop a serious problem before your closing, but isn’t unheard of. Unfortunately things like that can push your closing back, or it can be added to your escrow sheet to be finished later. Just being prepared for things that you COULD experience is a huge step in the right direction.
The next step you can take is to communicate and ask questions. There are a lot of people involved with buying or selling a house: you, and whomever is moving into or out of the home with you, the builder, the realtor, the lender, the title company, just to name a few. Some custom builders are also real estate agents who can help you sell your current home and get into the new one, and that knocks down the list of people by a few. When you have to communicate with a lot of people, it can feel like a game of telephone where the information being circulated is constantly being twisted and morphed into something else entirely, which tends to be super frustrating. The best thing you can do is to ask any questions you have, to make sure that everyone involved is on the same page.
When in the process of getting everyone on the same page, you can also create your own page. This page would have everything on it that you need to bring to your closing. A valid ID, your check for a pre-established amount, a good working pen, etc. It’s like anything else, an emergency weather kit in a storm shelter, a hospital bag for pregnancy, a camping trip, a vacation, the first day of school. They all have one thing in common and that one thing is that it’s embarrassing if you show up without your necessary materials. In my case, I did not have a valid driver’s license, which ALMOST proved to be a pain in the butt. Luckily for me, we were (kind of) able to move past that, and sign some papers, but my name was also misspelled on the title, and now I have to pay to fix it. So, always look over the information given, and if it is not correct don’t sign it.
As soon as you’ve heard when your closing is going to be, start making arrangements to move. Some things you can schedule is for movers to come, or when friends would be willing to come help out, or when you could pick up a vehicle to move yourself, or where your pets can go while you’re dealing with everything else. In the year 2020, there were a ton of people who were able to buy a house where they previously had been unable to do so, and if there’s one thing that 2020 taught us, it’s that things are unpredictable, but buying or selling a house doesn’t have to be… at least not completely. You can be prepared by making schedules, checklists, asking questions and taking your final walkthrough, to make your closing go as smoothly as possible!