Closing the deal

Welcome to our eighth and final installment of the Newbie Home Buyers Series. We’ve been through a lot together: discovered your ideal neighborhood, drawn up your dream house, chosen the right realtor, prequalified and been preapproved for a loan, shopped for your first home, written an offer and completed a home inspection. Now comes the last step: closing the deal on your dream home. Here are some steps to take when finalizing the home buying process.

1) Read through the loan documents again, and do so thoroughly. Be sure the paperwork is as presented by the lender when completing the loan application. You want to make sure everything is as previously discussed with your lender and that there are no hidden fees, etc.

2) Study the closing costs (aka HUD-1 settlement) statement. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the costs. Have unexpected expenses suddenly appeared? Are the buyer and seller costs as previously agreed? Don’t be timid—bring up any discrepancies with your agent.

3) Ensure that the home warranty is paid and in effect. The home warranty usually covers the repair and/or replacement costs of home appliances, major systems (like heating and cooling), and other structural components of the home. The home warranty usually covers such repairs/replacements for one year and costs anywhere from $175 to $400, depending on the age and size of the home as well as the amount of coverage you choose. Normally, you as the buyer will pay for the home warranty policy, but the seller may choose to pay for it as a way to avoid liability if problems occur after closing. If you plan to pay for it, ask your agent for recommendations. If any agents out there are reading this, buying the home warranty for your clients is a great closing gift!

4) Complete a thorough walk-through of the home 3-5 days prior to closing. This is to ensure that the property is in the condition it was when the purchase agreement was signed.

5) Ensure that all repairs per the pest and home inspection are complete and that repair costs and who will cover them are agreed upon in the contract.

6) Read the closing paperwork carefully. The devil may be in the details.

7) Ensure that the move has been coordinated prior to closing. Know when the seller is going to vacate and when you will have access to the property.

8) Ask for a utilities list from the selling agent and be sure the utility transfer is organized. Also make sure a locksmith is scheduled to change to the locks within a few days of your move-in date.

9) Prior to your occupancy, be sure that all labor contractors (i.e. cleaning, painting, carpet cleaners, etc.) are organized and ready to do what needs to be done in a timely manner.

10) Get excited about spending the first night in your new home!


We sincerely hope you have enjoyed the Newbie Home Buyers Series. If you have further questions or any comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. Enjoy your new home!

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Newbie Home Buyers Series, Part 8: Closing the Deal on the Home of Your Dreams by