Waiting for Godot or the Closing…

This is a series of post for first-first time buyers or any buyer who hasn’t purchased a house recently.

So, you got through the home inspection process and now you are waiting for the closing date. There will be plenty of things you keep you busy during the wait.

The mortgage underwriter will swing into high gear once the inspection is done and you’ve committed to move ahead. You’ll probably start receiving requests from him/her to provide documentation about your credit history – things like tax returns, employment pay stubs, bank account monthly statements and much more. There will be no credit secrets left when the underwriter gets done investigating and evaluating your credit worthiness.

You will have to arrange for a home owner’s insurance policy and likely have to pay the first year’s premiums at closing. The insurance agent may have to visit the property with you to look at and assess the condition of things like the electrical panel or other aspects of the house.

You should call or visit the local water company/authority, if the house is on city water and sewer. Just make sure that there are no unpaid water bills lurking about that have not yet been turned in to the County as tax liens.

You should call the gas and electric suppliers to set up your account for the house and arrange the “transition” of the services into your name on the closing date. Make sure that they understand that the service is not to be turned off on that date.

You may wish to schedule a visit to measure for your furniture, but do not go out and buy any new furniture until after the closing. Any new debts that you incur before closing will be picked up by the mortgage underwriter and may impact you credit worthiness enough to queer the deal.

You will have the opportunity to do a final walk-through before closing, which is usually the day of closing or the day before. This walk-through is intended to give you the chance to make sure that nothing has been materially changed about the property.

Sometimes sellers have been known to switch out light fixtures or take things that you believed should have come with the property, such as the window treatments. If those changes were not specifically called out in the Purchase Agreement, you have a legitimate reason to require the seller to put the house back as it was when the offer was accepted or even to walk away from the deal.

There are very few deals that fall apart due to the final walk-through, but it can create tension at closing if an agreement with the seller cannot be reached. Last minute sellers’ concessions are often the only way to resolve these issues.

I mentioned things not to do while you await the closing in a prior post, but here’s a good article to reinforce those points. The main thing not to do is anything that should impact your credit worthiness. Remember that the underwriter will be checking EVERYTHING and find EVERYTHING.

I don’t mean to be negative, but there are quite a few things that can go wrong during the time between an offer being accepted and the closing day. Here’s an article that focused on the worst case nightmares that can occur and how to deal with them. At it’s root, the best advice for all of them is “don’t panic”. There is usually a resolution available for anything that you might hit.

Norm Werner is a Realtor® working for Real Estate One in Milford, Michigan. Norms helps people buy and sell houses in Southeastern Michigan, in Oakland, Livingston and Macomb Counties You can contact Norm about finding a new home or about getting a Market Analysis for your current home by texting or calling him at 248-763-2497 or click here to go to his web site and fill out Help Form for buyers and sellers.

To see all of the post that have been made to this series of posts go to the post series index.