The Closing Timeline From Contract To Keys

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Plan your home purchase with this timeline if steps

Cervone Deegan + Associates knows that once you have located that perfect home to submit an offer on and the seller accepts, now the closing process begins. The average closing takes about 45 days today and sometimes faster if you are paying cash. For the bulk of buyers who are financing, here is a helpful timeline so that you can double check your to do list and begin planning.

Contact a lawyer

Real estate deals involve very important legal contracts and the handling of escrow funds so you will need to hire an attorney to handle all of this for you. Local real estate attorneys are always best as they tend to be most familiar with local properties and easily reachable. This is also the time that title review will begin.

Pay earnest monies

Your attorney will hold your deposit that you are putting down towards your total down payment and put that in escrow. This money is either wired or provided with a cashier’s check.

Complete loan application

You would have given some basic information to get prequalified for a mortgage, but now is the time to officially finish the loan application and provide all supporting documentation like your pay stubs and tax returns.

Review loan estimate

The lender will furnish you with a good faith estimate of the loan and all of the terms. Make sure to double check all details such as your name, the rate and term so that it is what you want and is accurate.

Order home inspection

A home inspection is always a wise idea to do so that you know exactly what you are getting into. Any major red flags will be spotted so that you can further negotiate if need be.

Order appraisal

Your lender will order the appraisal (at your expense) to be sure that the home is really worth what you are paying and they are giving a loan for. The home must appraise for at least the sale price to receive your home loan funding.

Lock in loan rate

You can usually do this once the home is under contract but once your inspection and appraisal are finished then nothing else should change so locking in is a good idea.

Get homeowners insurance

Having insurance is necessary to close on the home when a lender is involved. Shop around and pay attention to coverage amounts when comparing quotes. Remember, if you are in a flood zone you may be required to have separate insurance for that as well.

Review closing documents

At a minimum of three days before the closing the lender will provide you with the closing disclosure document. This will identify all fees so review this and be sure everything is as you expected. Notify them immediately should anything look wrong or inaccurate.

Arrange wire transfer or certified check

Personal checks are never accepted for the money required at closing. These days most attorneys will provide wiring instructions, or if not then require a cashier’s check. Be sure that you make arrangements for what is required before the closing.

Transfer utilities

Plan far ahead and make sure that you contact utility companies well in advance that you are taking possession of the home on your closing date. You wouldn’t want an interruption in any essential services.

Conduct walkthrough

Soon before the closing and after the sellers have vacated the home is the right time to do your final walkthrough. Be sure everything is working properly as it should be and that no damage was done by the sellers upon them moving out.

Attend the closing

Finally, bring your favorite pen with a lot of ink as you will be doing a lot of signing! Also have your ID, copy of insurance, closing disclosure and any other items requested on hand so that you are well prepared. Once all has been signed and filed then grab your copy of the keys and enjoy your new home!

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