Eight Home Closing Essentials – Real estate purchases can entail hours searching online for possible homes, days in the car with your real estate broker looking at those homes. Discovering that sometimes the pictures don’t exactly match up with the reality, and then finally pulling the trigger and preparing an offer.
The period of time we call “under contract” in Colorado Real Estate, sometimes known as “in escrow” in other states, can stretch out for weeks and make time feel like it’s moving at a snail’s pace. There is much to be done, though, and these eight real estate closing fundamentals are important to know:
Property Inspection – The home should be inspected, and you should definitely accompany the inspector while he or she is there. This is a great time to ask questions, and get a sense of whether the property is truly the right one for you, as well as whether there are any material defects you will want to ask the seller to clarify or repair.
Underwriting Period – We build time into our Colorado Real Estate contracts for appraisal, underwriter review of your financial situation and final loan commitment. Each step is essential to getting your loan finalized for the closing day. In Colorado, we schedule a pre-determined closing date. This means that the loan must fund and the documents finalized and delivered to the Title Company by the date you’ve chosen as your closing date. Make sure your lender knows the procedures in Colorado.
Title Review – The Listing Agent will order the title commitment from the closing company. You and your agent will have time to review the document to ensure that you’ll be receiving clear title to the property. You can also choose to have an attorney review any and all documents throughout the closing period. In Colorado, we typically don’t use attorneys to close residential real estate, but you may certainly choose to do so. Especially if it’s a somewhat complicated transaction.
Scheduling Moving Day – Another customary practice in Denver Real Estate transactions is for the buyer to take possession of the property a couple of days after the closing. With a vacant property, possession is typically granted the day of closing. Make sure to check the dates and deadlines in your contract before you schedule the movers.
Walk Through – Most buyers choose to have a walk through the day or so before closing. In the real estate contract, it states that the buyer has a right to walk through and verify the condition of the property prior to closing. Some buyers who are buying a vacant house and have been through it a few times state that they don’t need to have a walk through, but it’s really a good idea to do so. This is your time to check that all of your requested repairs during the inspection negotiations have been completed.
Utility Transfer – The water departments here in Colorado have lien rights on properties, so the Title Company will transfer that utility for you on the day of the closing. They’ll arrange to have the final reading done and the final payment withheld from the Seller’s proceeds. Other utilities such as gas and electricity, satellite or cable and phones should be contacted a couple of weeks prior and you’ll need to arrange to have them transfered the day of closing. The Seller should also call and give permission for the utilities to be removed from their name and put into yours.
Final Closing Documents – As I said, the Colorado real estate contract calls for a pre-scheduled closing date. Everyone comes to the title company on the designated closing date and signs the closing documents, then the deed is transferred and the keys handed over to the buyer. We like to say that there are “two closings”. The usual order of the two closings is to close the real estate portion of the transaction first, then close the loan portion. There are many documents to sign and there will be little time to review them word for word. It’s important to look at the key fundamentals, and always feel free to ask questions if you aren’t sure what the document means. It’s certainly appropriate to request a full packet of the closing documents ahead of time to review before you come to the closing. This isn’t typically supplied by the Title Company, so you’ll need to have your agent request it at least a few days prior to the closing.
Pack and Move! – Many buyers say that they have more stuff than they thought. You’ll save money with the moving company if you have all of your boxes packed up ahead of time and moved to a central location. The movers will be slowed down if you’re still packing boxes while they’re moving you out, so plan on being super organized for the moving day.