You found the perfect home, submitted your offer, it was accepted, and the Buyer’s Agent forwarded your deposit to the Seller’s Agent. At this point, you will begin the Closing Process.
The important thing to remember is that the Closing process can take several weeks depending on the type of loan or program involved with the sale. For example, if a program such as HARP is being used, the closing process could take up to four months to complete. Time being of the essence, it is imperative to submit all requested documentation as soon as possible. It is always a good idea to follow up to make certain the correct parties have received the documentation in order to avoid unnecessary delays.
If the Buyer is purchasing the home using a loan, they will be required to submit documentation to the mortgage company. The type of documentation varies by company, but the Buyer should expect to provide proof of income. Many institutions require W-2 forms from the previous two years plus your most recent paystubs. In addition, you may need your most recent federal tax return, a complete list of your debts (credit cards, additional loans, etc.), a list of assets, bank statements, or investment statements. It is important for the Buyer to know the exact documentation their lending institution requires and submit copies of that documentation. If the Buyer does not receive a confirmation that the person handling the loan has received the documents within a day or two of delivery, make a follow up call. This avoids unnecessary delays if the documents were lost or are at the institution but perhaps “lost” on another desk.
The Purchase Agreement will note when all inspections must be completed. It is important that the Buyer is aware of this date. Once this date has passed, no further new inspections will be allowed. The Buyer is allowed to do any inspections they deem necessary during the inspection period (home inspection, plumbing inspection, HVAC inspections, under slab inspections, electrical inspection, termite inspection, etc.). However, all inspections are paid for by the Buyer unless you negotiate in the Purchase Agreement for the Seller to pay for an inspection. Furthermore, the Buyer should schedule the inspections as soon as possible. This allows additional time to bring in a specialist, if necessary. Once the inspections have been completed, the Buyer must complete the Inspection Response Form and have their Agent submit it to the Seller’s Agent all within the inspection period stated in the Purchase Agreement. During the inspection period, the Buyer is to obtain quotes for insurance for the home, both homeowners insurance and flood insurance.
The Title Company is selected by the Buyer. If you are purchasing the home with a loan, the lending institution may have someone they require. The Buyer’s Agent forwards the Purchase Agreement to the Title Company. The Title Company will call the Buyer and the Seller for needed information. It is important to return any calls from the Title Company and provide the necessary information as soon as possible. If requested, the title company will run a title check to make sure the title is clear and prepare sales documentation. They will then set a date and time for the Act of Sale subject to the Buyer’s loan approval.
Remember, the Purchase Agreement specifies the date the closing must be completed. Therefore, it is important to submit requested documentation to the Title Company as soon as possible. Once, the documentation is completed, it will be sent to you for your review. It is important to review these documents carefully for accuracy. The Title Company will advise as to the funds you are to provide at the Act of Sale. Typically, these funds must be in the form of a cashier’s check or a bank wire.
The Buyer has a right to re-inspect the home within five days prior to the Act of Sale. This is the time for the Buyer to inspect any work that the Seller may have been required to complete and make sure the home is in the same condition as when the Purchase Agreement was completed.
Finally, for the Act of Sale, it is important for the Buyer to be prompt and bring any monies due in the proper form. In addition, insurance coverage is to be bound prior to the Act of Sale. All parties will be required to sign the necessary documentation which may include loan documentation in addition to sale documents. The time required for signing varies but the Buyer’s Agent should be able to give an estimate. In conclusion, the Buyer receives the keys and begins life in their new home!