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What steps should you take before closing on a home?

You have finally found the home you have been looking for. More than likely, the process has been a long one that involved visiting many locations, going through financial steps, possibly facing some disappointments and other sometimes-stressful issues. However, you now feel excited about the venture ahead, which is closing on your new home.

Of course, a lot can happen before closing takes place, so you are not out of the woods yet. In order to better protect your investment in your new home, you may want to consider taking several steps before closing.

What should you do?

While you may feel anxious to get the process completed, do not rush into any decision. Hasty agreements or choices can easily lead to problems down the road.

  • Escrow: Opening an escrow account allows a third party to hold the money involved in the transaction. This may prevent either side from taking unscrupulous measures to rip off the other party.
  • Title search: In some cases, titles can have third-party claims against them that may not be immediately clear at the time you make your offer. Conducting a title search can bring any issues to light before closing.
  • Mortgage pre-approval: Knowing that you have already obtained approval for your mortgage loan can help the buying process move forward more quickly.
  • Negotiate: When it comes to closing, many costs need taking care of. You do not necessarily have to front these costs yourself, and you could negotiate to have the seller pay closing costs or to have unnecessary fees reduced or eliminated.
  • Inspections: Though you may have fallen in love and provided an offer on the home, you still need to have professionals conduct home and pest inspections. These inspections can inform you whether any serious issues with the property exist.
  • Negotiate again: If the inspections do lead to the discovery of serious problems, you may want to renegotiate the purchase price offer you provided or negotiate to have the seller address any needed repairs prior to closing and subject to a satisfactory inspection.
  • Sign the papers: After you complete these and other steps, you may feel comfortable signing your closing papers. Of course, you should review the documents and make sure that the agreed upon terms are included.

Depending on your specific situation, you may want to take additional steps to make sure that you feel comfortable with the purchase before closing.

How an attorney can help

Another aspect to consider when buying a home is enlisting the help of an attorney. This legal professional can review any documents that will need signing as part of the transaction, help you negotiate terms and make sure that you have not been taken advantage of during the purchasing process.

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