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Almost There … Pre-Closing Details for Buyers

Love Buying a Home series – Week 12

Our step-by-step series will take you through the entire home-buying process — from finding a buyer’s agent to settlement day, and all the details in between. Every first-time buyer will find this information-packed series easy to follow and understand. Make sure to tune in for the next couple of weeks as we wrap up this series!

You don’t want any surprises when you close on a home. As a buyer, ensuring a smooth transition to becoming a homeowner should be set in motion well before you sit down with the sellers that day.

Here’s our handy breakdown with your pre-closing to-do’s. That way you’re all prepared for when your settlement day arrives:

Check Off Pre-Closing Tasks

You’re moving in to a new home so you want to make sure it’s all ready for you and your family. Now is a good time to get certain appointments booked and accounts set up.

Connect your utilities

You don’t want to move in without any power turned on! Get in touch with the electric company (such as Pepco or Dominion) to set up your new electric account. You can sometimes arrange a transfer prior to the sellers closing their account, and you will avoid a re-connect fee.

Depending on whether you have gas or if water is included in your condo fees, you may need to contact those services too. Set up all of your accounts to start on the day of your settlement.

You can get cable and internet service at a later date (if you can survive for a bit!).  However, you can schedule your appointments now for a convenient date.

Contact your insurance company

Make sure you have your homeowners/hazard insurance starting on the date of settlement as well. Also be sure to send a copy of the policy to your lender. You pay for the first full year at settlement, so no need to pay anything prior.

Consider a Home Warranty

If you want to protect yourself in case anything goes wrong with your condo unit, you do have the option of buying a home warranty. The idea is that if something breaks, you would call the home warranty company to repair or replace it.

Get prepared for Closing Day

When the big day arrives, you want to make sure you have everything you need, including any necessary funds. Don’t be rushing around at the last minute, so read over our list below.

What to bring to settlement

Bring your driver’s license and a certified check made out to the title company for the rest of your funds that you still owe. If your check isn’t enough, you can bring a personal check and write it up to $1,000.  It’s always good to bring a personal checkbook for any last minute items.

If you are moving funds around, please be aware that banks typically put at least a 3 day hold on large transfers.  If you’d prefer to wire your funds directly to the title company instead of bringing a certified check, get the instructions from your agent.

Obtain a copy of the Closing Disclosure form (it replaced the HUD-1 Settlement Statement). This form lists all final terms of the loan you’ve selected, final closing costs, and the details of who pays and who receives money at closing. Your lender should send you a Closing Disclosure at least three business days before closing.

Final walk-through

Mark your calendar for the time to meet at your new home for the walk-through. This is usually scheduled just prior to the actual closing. This is your opportunity to inspect the home and its condition. It also enables you to confirm that any items that you and the seller have agreed to remain or convey are there.

This is an exciting time since you’re almost in your new home! You don’t want anything to be delayed or forgotten right now so double check that all tasks have been completed. Put a big red check mark next to each item when done!

Our final article in the series is next week. (You’ll also get a bonus one on maintaining your home for week 14.) We hope you now have the confidence and knowledge to buy a home! Stay tuned for next week’s article — How to Make Your Settlement Successful.