But what happens when something unexpected pops up and throws a wrench in your plans?
There are four fairly common closing-day surprises that every Realtor® hopes her clients can avoid, so here’s how to avoid them (and how to deal with them if you can’t).
4 Closing Day Surprises No Realtor Wants for Her Clients
Last-minute surprises can be tough to deal with, so your Realtor will try to head them off before they become serious issues that put the brakes on your deal.
Common Closing Day Surprise #1: Things You Uncover During Your Final Walk-Through
There’s not much time left when you do your final walk-through, but provided that you’ve had a thorough home inspection done in the weeks leading up to closing day, you shouldn’t have too many (or any) surprises. If there’s a big storm or another natural event, or if something appears to be damaged that wasn’t damaged before, it’s okay to ask for another inspection before you go through with the deal.
Common Closing Day Surprise #2: Where Did Everything Go?
Sometimes there are misunderstandings between sellers and buyers about what’s going to remain in the home and what’s leaving with the previous owner. Ceiling fans are a prime example; sometimes sellers intend to take them but don’t remove them until they leave, which can cause a little bit of strife on the big day.
The best way to prevent this from happening? Include what stays and what goes in your contract. You can be as detailed as you’d like.
Common Closing Day Surprise #3: Title Problems
The title company will perform a complete, thorough search to make sure the property you’re buying has a clear title. That means they’re checking for other owners, liens, and covenants that could prevent the transfer of ownership.
However, sometimes they find information at the last minute. If they do, don’t worry too much. You have the right to step back from the deal and reevaluate your position. Things the title company finds, such as tax liens or another claim to the property, can postpone your closing—but others, such as unpaid homeowners’ association dues, don’t have to.
Common Closing Day Surprise #4: Mortgage Problems
Any changes to your credit report, whether you’ve opened a new line of credit or closed out an old card, can cause a snag in your financing. Even changing jobs, a sudden large deposit into one of your accounts, or a credit check can cause your lender to take a step back to investigate.
If your lender withdraws the offer to give you the money to buy the home, you’re not going to be able to close until you find a lender who is willing to give you the cash. Some lenders will simply raise your interest rate rather than withdraw from the deal; if that happens, you’ll have to check your budget and make sure you can afford the hike.
The best idea? Avoid making major purchases before you close, and check with your lender as frequently as you can to make sure you have time to solve issues that could cause problems with closing.
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