Posted by: Robin Gronsky | June 15, 2011

What Do Home Buyers Need to Do Right Before the Closing?

It’s about a week before the closing and your mortgage lender has indicated that you are clear to close.  What do you need to do these last few days before the closing? 

If you have not purchased homeowners’ insurance yet, you need to do so now.  Even if you have no lender who is requiring you to insure your property, you want the peace of mind of knowing that, if there is a major storm or fire that ruins part of your house, you will have the funds to rebuild. 

You need to set up your utilities.  This means calling the electric company, the telephone company (if you want a landline), the cable company, and the water company and have the accounts for your new home transferred from the seller to your name. 

You need to book the mover if you are moving in immediately after the closing.  You cannot move anything into the house before the closing, even if the seller has already moved out.  If you are intending to re-paint or re-finish the floors, you should book these contractors to start after the closing date.

You need to arrange with your real estate agent to conduct the final walk-through of the property.  This is your opportunity to ensure that the seller has completed all repairs that were promised based on the home inspection, to test the appliances to ensure that they are still working, to make sure that there are no surprises when all furniture and rugs are removed from the house, and that there are no holes in the walls from the moving-out process.  The final walk-through is usually done the day before or the morning of the closing date. 

Finally, you need to have your funds needed for closing accessible.  You will come to the closing with a bank check payable to your lawyer or the settlement agent (if your lawyer is not acting as the settlement agent).  If you need to sell stocks or break a certificate of deposit to have the funds needed for closing, make sure the funds clear at least a couple of days before your closing date.  Your lawyer or settlement agent will not know exactly how much you need to bring to the closing until the day before when she receives the final figures from your lender.

The last few days before the closing can be quite hectic.  Create a checklist of what you need to get done before the closing so you are not scrambling at the last minute.



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