How to Have A Stress-Free Closing Day
Love Buying a Home series – Week 13
This step-by-step series will take you through the entire home-buying process — from finding a buyer’s agent to closing day, and all the details in between. Every first-time buyer will find this information-packed series easy to follow and understand.
This series wraps up today but stay tuned next week for a bonus article on maintaining your new home.
You are almost a homeowner! But before you can celebrate, you’ve got to gear up for a successful closing day. And that means no surprises or delays on closing.
There is a lot to do on the days leading up to your closing and closing. You’ll be better prepared and on top of everything if you know what to expect. We covered some of these tasks in last week’s article, Almost There…Pre-Closing Details for Buyers, so be sure to read that one too!
We’ll cover some of those tasks again but will also discuss more of what happens during the closing process so that you stay calm and know what to expect.
Here’s a simple breakdown of what you need to do at each stage of the process:
Pre-Closing Tasks to Complete:
Get homeowner’s insurance. Make sure that it starts the day of the closing; no later, even if you are moving in later.
Don’t hurt your credit (loan!). Do not do anything that could change your financial circumstances, such as opening a new credit card account, getting a new auto loan, charging too much on your current credit cards. Even buying furniture before your closing day is a bad idea. This could delay or even cancel your mortgage. So, hold off on any shopping sprees for your new home!
Connect your utilities. Make sure you make it effective for the day of closing, even if you are moving in after closing. The seller will turn them off in their name the day of closing since they will no longer be the owner of the home. To avoid any reconnection fees, make sure the utilities start in your name the day of your closing.
Give yourself enough time to move funds around. Please be aware that banks typically put at least a 3 day hold on large transfers. If you’d prefer to wire your funds directly to the title company instead of bringing a certified check, get the instructions from me or my transaction coordinator.
Your Final Walk-Through. You will be allowed to do a final walk-through of your home prior to closing. We will schedule it a day or two before signing your final docs. It should take about 30 minutes.
This is your opportunity to see if any damage has been done to the property and if any agreed upon repair work has been completed. Carefully go through the home this one last time to see if anything is not right so you can bring it up before closing (not after!).
You are not doing another inspection, but just making sure that any repairs that were agreed upon have been done and ensuring the home is still in the same condition as when you wrote the contract.
Steps to Closing in California
The process of closing in California is different than some state. It does not happen all in one day. The seller signs at one time, you sign at another, the money is funded by you and by the lender and when the escrow company has everything, they release the file to record with the county. Understanding the steps can help ease the stress of an escrow closing. So, let’s talk about them.
If you are getting a loan, you will receive an electronic document to acknowledge called the Closing Disclosure or “CD” which is required by federal law to be acknowledged approximately three days before you are allowed to sign loan documents. This may have already happened. This document provides a lot of detailed information about your loan, including the amount you are required to pay at closing, commonly referred to as “cash to close”.
The escrow officer is responsible for overseeing the whole closing process, including all signatures from the parties involved. They will contact you to set up an appointment with a licensed notary at the escrow office, or more likely, the notary will come to your home or office for you to sign the documents.
Once you have signed everything, the escrow officer will combine all the documents in the escrow file and return them to your lender for review.
When your lender reviews all the files, they will issue funds to the escrow account. This is referred to as “funding the loan”. Once escrow receives your funds and the funds from your lender, they “release for recording”, which means they send a messenger to the County Recorder with the Grant Deed. This usually takes 24 to 48 hours after you have signed the loan docs.
When the Deed is recorded and stamped, the property ownership officially transfers from the seller to you.
This is the part where we high five and celebrate a job well done. You did it! And the best part – where I get to give you your keys!!! You’re all set to move into your new home now that you’ve made it through your closing. It’s time to celebrate and start unpacking.
Now that you’re a homeowner, you need to take care of your new home. Next week’s bonus article, Maintaining Your New Home, is perfect for you. I hope you have enjoyed this Love Buying a Home series and that it will help you become an informative and confident buyer. And, remember, you aren’t alone. I’m with you every step of the way and will make sure everything gets done so that you enjoy the process of buying a home as much as you love living in your new home too.
I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me show you how I can help make your real estate dreams come true.
Contact Me Here:
864 Grand Avenue, #305
San Diego, CA 92109
First Time Buyers
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