Buying Your First Home in Nashville? Step 9 is the Closing
STEP ONE of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area was about finding a lender and getting yourself pre-approved for a loan (if you aren’t going to pay cash).
STEP TWO of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is how to select a realtor.
STEP THREE of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is finding, viewing and selecting your home.
STEP FOUR of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is making an offer.
STEP FIVE of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is the home inspection process.
STEP SIX of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is selecting the appropriate homeowner’s insurance policy.
STEP SEVEN of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is to continue sending the lender any requested information.
STEP EIGHT of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area is to tie up the loose ends.
Steps 1-8 have been leading you up to this point – THE CLOSING!!! First of all, CONGRATULATIONS for having made it this far! Buying your first home is a very stressful event, so if you have made it this far then you have the hard stuff behind you!
Before you hit that closing room, though, your realtor should take you to do a “walk through.” This is simply where you go back over to the property you are about to purchase and look it over to make sure that it is in the same condition that the seller said it would be in. When you have done this, then it will be time to go to the closing!
Your realtor should let you know when your closing date and time is. If he or she has failed to do so, then give them a call, at least several days in advance! Most likely you will be closing during a weekday, so time off from work will be necessary.
I recommend setting your closing date for a Wednesday or Thursday, especially if your loan is going to be a VA or FHA one. The reason is simple – if there is a glitch in the loan being able to be closed, then you still have one or two more weekdays to allow your lender to work this out. Then you will also have the weekend to get moved! NOTHING IS WORSE than your loan not being approved on a Friday – then you have to wait the entire weekend (agony) before you can get some straight answers as to what is going on.
A word of warning: People who work in the real estate industry are NOTORIOUS for being flippant about the closing date and time. To you, it is something that is set in stone. To real estate industry veterans, the closing date and time is NEVER set in stone. I try to remind all of my clients of that reality continually. SO MANY THINGS CAN DELAY A CLOSING… extra paperwork needed, extra sign offs by FHA and VA inspectors, extra inspections required. The list is really endless.
Also, be prepared because closing costs can change at the last minute as well. I have seen them change by as much as a fifteen hundred dollars ($1500). You will need to bring a certified or cashier’s check from your bank to cover these closing costs – and you need to confirm with your realtor as to which one you need the day before closing.
One document the title company will send you at least 3 days before the closing is the HUD-1 statement. This is an extremely important document which will run down the numbers for both the seller’s side and the buyer’s side. You will be required to sign it and return it to the title company within 72 hours of your closing date to start the required (by the federal government) 3 day clock. You CANNOT close on your new home without that 3 day window. Your real estate agent should go over this with you, but if they don’t offer then ask! And if you find anything on that statement that seems questionable, then ask! And then ask some more!!!
If your closing takes place during the business day, then you should be able to ask not only the realtor, but also the seller (through your realtor), lender and the closing attorney any questions that you have.
REMEMBER: Be flexible. A lot of things have to come together in order for there to be a closing. It may or may not go completely smoothly – so be aware of this fact!
I hope you have learned something through these blog posts. It is difficult to be a first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area and to be navigating this process on your own.
Best wishes in your search and move – I would love to be the Realtor to help you, but either way I wish you well!