Contract to Closing

Once you’ve completed your home inspection(s) and we’ve verified with your lender that your loan application has been approved and the property appraisal has come in at an acceptable home value (at or above the contract purchase price), it may seem like you are just sitting around, waiting for closing. However, there are some important details you will need to take care of during this time.

Homeowners Insurance: You will need to contact your insurance agent – or if you do not have one, you will need to find one – to set up your homeowners insurance. Your lender will require you to show proof of homeowners insurance at or before closing in order to give final approval for your loan. The closing attorney will contact you prior to closing to request this information. The insurance agent will ask you for details about the home: square footage, contract price, and location. They may also ask you for a copy of the appraisal. You will have the opportunity to insure your personal property, as well – be sure to ask your insurance agent for additional insurance options and also be sure to alert the agent if you have unique needs, such as high-value jewelry or artwork that will need additional coverage.

Utilities Services: You will also need to set up your accounts for the utilities on the property, such as gas, electric, water/sewer, cable/satellite, phone/internet, security system, and garbage, among others. We will obtain a list from the seller of the utilities companies that service this home, as oftentimes the home is tied to a specific company for services like electric, water/sewer, cable television, and garbage. Other services, like gas, satellite television, and security system, allow you to choose your favorite or to shop for the best price.

Power of Attorney: If you are buying your property with a spouse or other person and one of you cannot attend closing, you may need to get Power of Attorney set up for the closing, which will allow the person attending to sign for the person who is absent. Keep in mind that some lenders will not allow loan documents to be signed by Power of Attorney, so you will need to first check with your lender. If the lender will not allow it, we will need to change the closing date, with mutual acceptance by all concerned parties, including the seller. If the lender will allow it, you will need to contact the closing attorney and get the paperwork sent to you for Power of Attorney. Also, keep in mind this will add an additional expense to your closing costs; be sure to ask the attorney what it will cost so there are no surprises at closing. You will want to do this at least a week prior to closing.

Hire Your Moving Company: You will need to obtain price quotes and hire a moving company. This is another opportunity for you get recommendations and referrals from family and friends. Remember, movers handle all of your belongings and you want to make sure that you use a company you are comfortable with, which has come highly recommended by someone you trust and has received great reviews on websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and other similar third-party review sites. Keep in mind that moving company schedules often fill up quickly, so taking care of this piece of the puzzle as far ahead of closing as possible will help you to get the moving date that works best for you.

One to three days prior to closing, we will conduct your final property walk-through.

As discussed in Home Inspection, you may choose to have your home inspector come back to re-inspect the items the seller has agreed to repair. In the event that any item(s) have not been completed or have been completed incorrectly, we will resubmit a request to have them done prior to closing, and we can even move the closing date, if necessary.

Also between one and three days before closing, the closing attorney will receive the loan package from the lender and complete a Preliminary Settlement Statement, which will outline and calculate all of the numbers of closing, including the contract sales price, your downpayment amount, seller contribution to closing costs (if any), closing costs you are responsible for, prorated taxes, insurance and homeowners association fees, and all other costs associated with closing. Your lender and I will review the numbers with you, correcting any oversights or mistakes, and advising you as to how much money you will need to wire to the attorney for the closing. You will visit your bank, complete the wiring instructions, and then you will be ready to close!

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