Tips for a Smooth Closing

With a little planning, you can help make the closing process go smoothly. Take a look at these recommendations and let us know if you have questions.

  • Be available at various times during your transaction–especially during the last two weeks prior to closing. We will need you to provide documents, sign paperwork, acknowledge receipt of documents and answer questions.

  • Check your email and voicemail frequently. Let us know what is the BEST way to contact you. We find email to be the most efficient and reliable means of communication during the transaction. However, there will occasionally be sensitive matters or questions that are better addressed in a phone call.

  • Don’t go on vacation. Real estate transactions are linear and time-sensitive; if you’re unavailable, it could result in a delay in closing. If you must leave town during your transaction, please let us know. We will do our best to work with your schedule.

  • Keep tabs on your cosigner(s). If a family member or friend is cosigning, remember that they must be available, too!

  • Save all pages of bank, retirement and investment statements–and don’t shred anything during the transaction. You never know what you may need before closing can take place.

  • Don’t pack away financial documents. Keep all of your tax information and financial records easily accessible during the transaction.

  • If you haven’t done so already, set-up online banking. There is no easier way to access the up-to-date information we need as closing time approaches.

  • Don’t quit your job or change your job. Should you need to make a job change, it might not be a problem, but please keep us posted so we can make sure the timing will work out. Generally, we will need a paystub from a new job before closing.

  • Tell us if you will be on leave. Maternity leave, family leave, Workers Comp or any other type of leave–keep us informed! Tell us if your hours, schedule or pay changes. Occasionally we’ll need your help with verifying your employment.

  • Keep us posted on source(s) of the money you plan to use for closing. Let us know if your funding sources change (you get a monetary gift or win the lottery). There is very specific documentation we need for gifts or donations.

  • Let us know if you are getting an inheritance. We will need a copy of the will or other documentation confirming that you are the heir. If you are not named in the will, your inheritance will be documented as a gift for our purposes.

  • Prepare funds in time for closing. You will need to provide funds – in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer – to the title company at least three business days prior to your closing date. So if you need to sell stocks, arrange a retirement account loan, or transfer funds from a non-local bank, allow ample time. Find out how long your bank must hold a check before you can withdraw a cashier’s check.

  • Consider moving money via wire transfer; the title company can receive wires on your behalf. This is a great way to move non-local bank funds. Wired funds are less likely to get lost or be delayed, and are available immediately.

  • Keep detailed records of all deposits you make during the transaction. We need to document the source of any non-payroll deposits you make during your transaction – including expense reimbursement, gifts, tax refunds, rent from roommates, and just about anything else. Avoid cash deposits, as cash is generally impossible to track in a way that satisfies underwriting.

  • Don’t open or close bank accounts. If you plan to change banks, wait until closing is finalized. Don’t move money around; if you need to consolidate funds for closing, keep excellent records.

  • If you sell assets during the transaction, such as a car or recreational vehicle, please let us know. Document the liquidation of any stocks, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement account funds, etc.

  • If you’re coming up short for closing, let us know. You cannot take a credit card advance to make up the difference; unsecured loans are not accepted sources of funding. If you’re having trouble paying bills on time, let us know.

  • Wait until after closing to make any large purchases, such as furniture, appliances, or a car. If you plan to pay off significant bills, we strongly recommend doing so through the title company at closing.

  • Keep credit card and credit lines at similar or declining levels. Credit scores are very sensitive to credit card balances.

  • Do not cosign on any new loans. Until a year of payments has been made, this will be viewed as YOUR debt.

  • Let us know if there are any liens or judgments filed against you or if you are involved in a lawsuit.

  • Don’t file for divorce during the transaction; closing will be delayed until the judge has signed your divorce decree. This is true of legal separations, too. Let us know if you pay child support or alimony.

  • Make your insurance arrangements. If you are going to shop around, do so early in the process. Pick your agent at least 10 days prior to closing, and let them know the closing date. Let us know the agent’s name and contact information. Even if you are keeping the same agent, make sure they know about your move.

  • Don’t prepay for insurance; you will pay through closing. The exception is flood insurance. FEMA will require you to prepay this.

  • When in doubt, keep us in the loop! If any out-of-the-ordinary situation arises that may affect your finances, let us know… and we’ll do our best to ensure your closing goes smoothly.