It’s the final push! You’ll be a homeowner in no time, but before you can celebrate, you’ve got to gear up for a successful and stress-free settlement day. That means no surprises, no delays, and no leaving without the keys to your new home.
There is much to do on the days leading up to your closing and settlement. You’ll be 100% prepared and on top of everything if you know what to expect. We covered some of these tasks in last week’s article, “The Ultimate Pre-Closing Checklist for Buyers in Colorado,” but today, we’ll take a closer look at what happens during the settlement, so you’re extra, extra prepared.
Pre-Closing Tasks to Complete (A Review)
Don’t hurt your credit (loan!). Leading up to the final settlement, try not to do anything that could change your financial circumstances, such as signing up for a line of credit, getting a new auto loan, or charging too much on your current credit cards.
Even buying expensive furniture before your settlement is a bad idea. Big purchases (especially those on credit) could delay or even cancel your mortgage. So hold off on any shopping sprees until the keys are in your hand.
Give yourself enough time to move funds around. Be aware that banks typically put at least a 3-day hold on large money transfers. If you’d prefer to wire your funds directly to the title company instead of bringing a certified check, get the instructions from your agent.
Confirm your homeowner’s insurance. Ensure your new homeowner’s insurance is set up to start on or before the settlement date. Don’t leave anything to chance. Even a gap of a few days between insurance coverage is risky.
Consider a home warranty— Depending on the home and your family’s preferences, the warranty could save you money or be an unnecessary cost. Review last week’s article for more information, or check out this helpful guide.
Connect your utilities— Get in touch with the electric company to set up your new electric account or arrange to transfer the seller’s account to your name to avoid a re-connect fee.
Closing Day Logistics:
Your final walk-through. We’ll meet at your new home for the walk-through. This is usually scheduled just before the actual closing. It’s our last opportunity to inspect the home and its condition before taking ownership. It also enables us to confirm that any items (i.e., furniture, appliances) that you and the seller have agreed to remain are there.
Schedule the walk-through earlier in the day so you can complete it before heading to the actual closing. It should take about 30 minutes.
This isn’t a formal inspection. However, the walk-through is super important. Seeing the home one last time before settlement will give you the peace of mind you need to make this thing official!
What to bring to closing:
- Driver’s license or other official identification
- A Certified check made out to the title company for the rest of the funds that you still owe.
- A copy of the Closing Disclosure form.
What to Expect on Closing Day
- You and your agent will attend the closing at a specified time at the settlement company’s offices. The seller also will be there with their agent.
- The seller will legally transfer the property to you.
- Some closings take more than an hour to complete, so plan accordingly if you have to take time off from work. The stakes are high, so if you must schedule for a weekday, take the day off work if you can.
- The settlement company acts as a third party, overseeing the terms in the contract to ensure they are being carried out and the transfer of ownership occurs. They don’t represent you or the seller, but rather, the terms of the contract.
- This company also handles the closing process for that day. This is to ensure that all parties involved (you, the seller, your agent, and their agent) can properly oversee the transaction.
- The settlement company will handle the documents, money, and any other items from all parties and make sure that everybody gets paid where necessary.
You will be signing a lot of documents that day, so make sure you know what you are signing. Ask questions and confirm amounts if necessary. Stay calm! Nobody expects you to be an expert on real estate (that’s what your agent is for!).
Congratulations, You Just Bought a Home!
This is the part where we high-five and celebrate a job well done. You did it! You’re all set to move into your new home now that you’ve made it through your settlement. NOW It’s time to celebrate and start unpacking.
Fear not. This isn’t the end. Now that you’re a homeowner, you’ve got to take care of your new home. Next week’s bonus article, “Maintaining Your New Home,” is perfect for you. You’ll get started on the basics of home ownership.
I hope you have enjoyed this series and that it has helped (or will help) you become an informed and confident buyer. No matter where you are in the real estate process, I’m here for you. Whether you’re buying a home, thriving in a new home, or selling, I’m here to help with anything you need. Let’s talk!
I'm Lauren Haug! I'm a teacher-turned-real estate agent, and I teach people how to build wealth through real estate in Northern Colorado.
443 E 4th Street #100
Loveland, CO 80537
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