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Closing on a House

What Steps Do You Need to Take to Ensure Your Home Closing Goes off Without a Hitch?

Investment adviser giving a presentation to a friendly smiling young couple seated at her desk in the office

Closing on a house is a big deal. In fact, it's probably the largest purchase you'll ever make. Naturally, you'll want that closing to go off seamlessly so you can quickly take possession of your new property. Unfortunately, not all closings go off without a hitch. You can, however, avoid common pitfalls by following these simple suggestions. 

Double Check Your Credit Score 

Sure, you're already pre-approved for a mortgage, but a sudden change in your score can put your approval in jeopardy. Experts suggest avoiding anything that could alter your credit score in the weeks leading up to closing. In short, don't buy a car a few weeks before you close, fall behind on payments, or open a new credit card. 

Review your Closing Disclosure 

Several days before you attend the closing of a property, you'll receive a closing disclosure. Review the document immediately. A lot of valuable information is included, like how much your actual mortgage payment will be. Read through the paperwork to ensure everything is on the up and up. If something is wrong, you'll want a few days to get it sorted out.

Remember the estimate you received when you were pre-approved may be slightly different from the mortgage payments that are set in stone. If you feel like there is too large of a discrepancy, don't be afraid to ask about it. 

Figure out Title Insurance 

Before you step foot in the room, make sure you have title insurance squared away. Title insurance is a way to protect yourself from unknown heirs or liens on the property. Most title companies will require you to have it, so make sure you have that setup and all of the paperwork associated with it on hand for the closing. A title search will be completed, but strange things have been known to pop up. 

Get your Down Payment in Order

Your closing disclosure will inform you of how much money you'll be responsible for at the time of closing. This will be the money you agreed to put down as a down payment minus any earnest money you've laid out. Make sure you have the correct amount ready to go at the time of closing.

Most title companies will not accept a personal check. So head to the bank ahead of time to get a cashier's check. A cashier's check is almost universally accepted, but make sure you check with your lender to see what is the preferred method. A wire transfer might be acceptable, too. A wire transfer can be initiated at your local bank. 

Ensuring your closing goes off well comes down to simple preparation. Always be prepared and don't be afraid to ask questions if you are concerned. Having all the answers ahead of closing will help ensure your closing is as simple as signing your name.

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