How to Prepare for Closing Day When Buying a Home in Washington

April 5, 2023
Last updated:
April 5, 2023
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We’ve written about the closing process in the past, as it applies to home buyers in the state of Washington. Today, we’ll approach this subject from a different angle, by explaining what you can do to prepare for closing when buying a home.

With a bit of research, foresight and planning, you can increase the chance that you close on time and without any unpleasant surprises.

Understand the Closing Process

In a real estate context, the term “closing” refers to the final stage of the transaction. The loan has to be closed before the lender can fund the transaction. For the home buyer, this process involves reviewing and signing a lot of documents, and also submitting payment for closing costs and down payment.

The most important thing to understand is that the deal isn’t fully “done” until closing has been finalized. So your goal, as a home buyer, is to help ensure that everything stays on track so you can close on time and move into your new place.

Here are some things Washington home buyers can do to facilitate the closing process:

  1. Keep the communication flowing.

In a real estate transaction, good communication is like the glue that keeps everything together. All parties involved must coordinate and communicate effectively to reach the shared goal, which is the transfer of property.

Good communication becomes even more important in the days leading up to your closing. During this time, the title company or escrow agent will be gathering all of the finalized documents relating to the sale of the home. And there’s a chance some documents might need to be adjusted, revised or re-signed.

This is where communication comes into the picture. Home buyers in Washington can help facilitate the closing by staying in close contact with their mortgage representative and the escrow company that’s managing the closing. And that paves the way for tip #2.

  1. Provide all documents in a timely manner.

When it comes to mortgage loans, most of the document “roundup” occurs during the early stages, such as the initial application and underwriting. But there’s also a chance you will need to provide additional documents later on, as your closing date draws near. You can help expedite the process and keep the closing on track by providing all requested documents in a timely manner.

  1. Conduct a final walk-through of the property.

When buying a home in Washington, you will probably have an opportunity to conduct a “final walk-through” of the property. This is different from the initial tour you might do when house hunting. The final walk-through typically occurs a few days before closing, and sometimes the day before.

During this process, you are making sure all requested repairs have been made and that there isn’t any new damage to the property. But you also want to keep the big picture in mind.

It’s common for a house to receive a few dings and scrapes when someone moves out of it. It’s practically inevitable. As a home buyer, you have to realize that these things can usually be repaired at very little cost. So you probably don’t want to delay your closing over minor issues.

On the other hand, if you discover some kind of major issue during the final walk-through, contact the listing agent or seller as soon as possible. A quick resolution of such issues can help keep the closing process on track.

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  1. Be prepared to pay your closing costs and down payment.

As you probably already know, home buyers in Washington usually have to pay closing costs relating to their mortgage loans, escrow processing, government fees, etc.

You should receive an estimate of these costs shortly after applying for a mortgage loan, followed by a finalized amount just before closing. In order to keep the process on track, make sure you are prepared to submit these payments on closing day.

Home buyers in Washington typically pay their closing costs in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer. If you have any issues or concerns relating to your closing costs, communicate them to your mortgage loan officer as soon as possible. Again, good communication is the glue that keeps everything together.

In addition to your closing cost payment, you’ll also want to bring a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of homeowners insurance. These items are typically required for a real estate closing in the state of Washington.

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  1. Understand what happens on closing day.

The day of the real estate closing can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. But being prepared can help ease the stress and ensure a smooth transaction.

If the day approaches and you’re still not clear about what to expect, contact your mortgage loan officer or the escrow agent who’s handling the process. Take your time reviewing the finalized documents and ask as many questions as needed. You shouldn’t feel rushed during this process. You should feel comfortable with what is taking place and what you are signing.

And don’t forget to keep the end goal in mind at all times. Yes, there’s a lot of paperwork to get through. But there’s also a big “prize” on the other side of it. So keep calm and carry on!

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