Home buyers in Washington State tend to have a lot of questions when it comes to closing. We’ve answered some of these questions in previous blog posts. Today, we’ll talk about what home buyers can expect during the week before their scheduled closing day.
1. Conduct a final walk-through of the home.
A few days before closing, home buyers typically have an opportunity to conduct one final walk-through inspection of the house they are buying. This is the buyer’s last chance to look at the property before signing all finalized paperwork to complete the sale.
The final walk-through is almost always conducted during the week prior to the closing. As a home buyer, you’re making sure that the property is still in the same condition it was in when you did your first visit, prior to making an offer. You want to make sure that all of the appliances are still present, and that there isn’t any new (significant) damage.
2. Review your finalized closing costs.
When you apply for a home loan, you will receive an estimate of the various fees and charges associated with the mortgage and the transfer of the property. Collectively, these are referred to as closing costs.
A few days before the closing, you should receive a finalized list of these costs. This is the actual amount you will need to bring in the form of a cashier’s check. This is another important step that takes place sometime during the week leading up to the closing date. Be sure to review this document and contact your loan officer if you have questions about it.
3. Quickly follow up on any underwriting requests.
For some home buyers in Washington, the week before closing is relatively calm and quiet. Everything is on track, and there’s nothing left to be resolved. That’s the best-case scenario.
But in some cases, there might be some last-minute underwriting issues that need to be resolved before the underwriter can declare the borrower “clear to close.” For example, he or she might need a letter of explanation regarding a certain bank deposit or withdrawal.
It’s best to handle these requests as quickly as possible, so they do not interfere with closing. Remember, at this stage of the mortgage process everybody basically wants the same thing. They want the loan to close so you can move into your new home. It’s a collaborative effort.
4. Try to avoid any major financial changes before closing.
When you’re approaching your closing date, it might be best to maintain the status quo. This means avoiding any major financial changes that could create obstacles during the underwriting process.
For example, this probably isn’t the time to switch jobs, take out a personal loan, or make a huge purchase that could affect your bottom line. These things could require additional underwriting steps, or they may even put you outside the qualification parameters for your particular mortgage loan.
5. Make sure you have your homeowners insurance policy in place.
Homeowners insurance (a.k.a., hazard insurance) is almost always required when a mortgage loan is used to buy a house in Washington State. So if you haven’t done so already, this is another item to take care of during the week before closing. Depending on the specifics of your loan program, you may have to bring proof of home insurance to the closing.