Long before closing, our builder emailed us a pre-closing review that listed 10 items that needed to be completed prior to our closing day for things to go smoothly. I found this very helpful for staying organized and getting everything that completed well before it was required. The last thing anyone ever wants is an issue at the last minute that can hold-up or cause issues at their closing.
1 – Review The Total Sales Price with Your Builder. It’s easy for the price to change during the building process. Often minor changes are made during building that can result in changes to the original contract price. Usually your builder will make you aware of this in advance, so you can make the decision to move forward on a change. But, it’s smart to request the final sales price from the builder or building company so you know before everything gets finalized with your mortgage company.
2 – Contact Your Mortgage Company. In the world of home loans today, all contractors building new home plans, or sellers of pre-existing homes require a pre-approval letter showing that the person seeking a loan can in fact, get one. This pre-approval typically states the dollar amount for the largest loan they will approve for you. But, typically once you’re about 4-6 weeks from your closing date, you will need to re-contact your mortgage company who gave you the pre-approval letter and have them get things in motion for your closing date. They will typically ask for the final sales contract, if you are putting any money down towards the loan amount, and they’ll verify that they have all change orders. This is when your interest rate be locked in (unless you did so 60 days prior to your closing date). At this time, you will also need to make sure you ask your lender what types of documents you will need to bring to closing so you are prepared. And, then they will begin the process of scrutinizing your finances and debt so they can determine if you can handle the loan you are requesting from them.
3 – Set-Up Your Walk-Through If You Haven’t Already. Our building company gave us a contact name and their phone number and I called and scheduled our walk-through day and time well in advance.
4 – Obtain Homeowner’s Insurance for Your New Home. In order to close, you must have your homeowner’s policy setup and paid. Your mortgage company must have a paid receipt as proof of insurance no later than one week prior to closing.
5 – Schedule an Appointment with the Closing Office. The building company may have a title company they prefer, so inquire with them to find out where to call and schedule your appointment. If they do not, then your lender will most likely point you in the right direction. So, once you learn where the closing will occur, schedule a day and time after your final walk-through with your builder for the closing.
6 – Prepare To Be Present at Your New Home’s Closing. All those who signed as purchasers of your new home will need to be present at closing. And, it is required that you bring a valid license or state ID to closing so they can make a copy for their records.
7 – Review Your Final Closing Figures. Your title company should contact you 1-2 days before your closing with your final closing figures, which include closing costs and other administrative fees as well as any money you plan to put down. If you think you’ll need to know the final figures further in advance, some title companies will work with you to get the final figures sooner.
8 – Have Payment Ready at Closing. If you need to bring money to your closing for everything to be finalized, then obtain a cashier’s check for the amount you are responsible for bringing to closing. Make sure you know whom the check needs to be made out to exactly before getting this check from your bank or financial institution. Once the title company has confirmed receipt of the money, you will be given the keys to your new home.
9 – Set-Up Utilities Prior to Your Closing. Our builder was organized enough to give us a list of utility companies and service providers for the area where we built along with their phone numbers, so getting everything set-up was easy. About a week before, I called the water, sewer, cable, trash, electric and gas companies and got everything set-up so utilities and services would begin on the day of our closing. I set-up an appointment for installation with our cable and Internet provider scheduled a few days after closing.
10 – Understand Your Builder’s Customer Service Program. Before you close, it’s wise to discuss with your builder what will happen if something goes wrong with your home. Does he have warranties in place and for how long? Our builder has a handy online portal where issues can be easily logged so an appointment can be scheduled to fix the problem. They will do this for the first year we own our home.
If you follow-through with these 10 important items prior to closing, chances are, closing day will come and go without a single issue and soon you’ll be holding the keys to your brand new home.