Purchasing a home for the first time can be a daunting experience, and the closing day is perhaps the most daunting part of the buying process. Dealing with unexpected issues that may arise can be difficult. While some problems can be easily solved, others can derail a deal at the final hurdle.
Disheartening walk-through surprises
The final walk-through of the property is the number one cause of unexpected issues on closing day. The final inspection takes place the day before, or during the morning of, closing day, leaving the buyer with not much time to prepare and react to potential problems.
A heavy storm may reveal downstairs flooding, or the furniture that you thought was included has vanished, cracks in the ceiling or walls may be revealed.
If the issue is a serious problem you should take careful steps in proceeding with the deal. To avoid any unfortunate revelations, you should have very thorough inspections of the property before the final walk-through on closing day.
Feel free to ask the current owner to view the property after a large storm to inspect for any damp or potential flooding. Discovering a last minute problem does not necessarily mean the deal should be compromised. Negotiate to have the cost of repairs covered by the seller, and have the money put in escrow. Get estimates from professionals to verify how much the repairs will cost.
What the seller takes with them
A common issue on closing day is confusion between the buyer and seller over which items are taken by the seller and which items remain with the property. Perhaps you liked the antique furniture at the property and were disappointed to discover it had disappeared on closing day.
Unless you’re extremely attached to an item and regard it as a deal breaker, it is often best to let go any issues over the transfer of items and furniture. The simplest solution to any misunderstanding on closing day is to state in a contract what is expected to remain or must be removed. Be detailed and make sure that the contract matches what you expect to be in the property on closing day.
Most buyers have approval for a mortgage organised over a month before closing day. However, slight changes to your financial situation can alter your credit rating and problems can occur right up to the point of closing on the deal. If you change your job, apply for a credit card or loan, fail to make payments or bills, even an unexpected influx of cash can cause issues with mortgage approval.
If the lender backs out of the deal, you will have to find another mortgage provider before you can close. The mortgage provider may adjust the interest rate and you will have to reconsider whether the property is still affordable.
To avoid any lending issues, you should communicate with the mortgage provider the day before closing to ensure there are no issues, and resolve any if there are. It’s advisable to avoid any large financial moves in the month or so before closing, like changes to your employment or any financial influx from a relative or family member.
Money transfer problems
The crucial part of closing day is the transfer of funds. Some banks and financial institutions prefer to conduct transfers electronically, while others prefer certified checks. If you bring the wrong paperwork or make a mistake with account numbers, you can delay the deal.
While not to serious, it is best to avoid creating any unnecessary stress. Ask your mortgage provider and real estate agent what type of transfer is required.
A title company will reveal details of the property, such as any liens, covenants, and past ownership, that can reveal serious issues on closing day. Give yourself time to consider any issues or stipulations that come with the property. Any tax owed on the property or claims of ownership from family members or co-owners can delay closing. While and unpaid HOA dues or covenants can be a surprise, but not derail closing on the property. It can be frustrating, but all title problems must be resolved before closing. However, when it comes to purchasing a property it is better to proceed with caution than making any costly errors that must be dealt with later.
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