Avoid Common Closing Pitfalls

 

Closing is the last step you'll take before picking up the keys and making your new house feel like home. Your loan officer will work with you throughout the process, but first let's go over some tips to help you avoid the most common closing pitfalls.

Plan a budget for the long haul

Aside from mortgage, there are a handful of homeowner costs that you might not expect. Review these unexpected costs and make sure your budget accounts for them both now and in the long-term.

Be transparent with your loan officer

To avoid closing delays, be sure to let your loan officer know of any changes that could alter your loan qualification. Large deposits, REALTOR® negotiations and job changes are all things your loan officer should know about as soon as possible.

Get homeowner's insurance

Earlier in the mortgage process, you should have gotten a homeowner's insurance policy. Before you close, you'll need to provide your loan officer with the name and phone number of your insurance agent. To be sure that the deal is finalized in time, shop for a policy once inspections are completed. As an OCCU member, you may be eligible for special savings on insurance through our partner SWBC. Get a quote beforehand to be sure it fits your budget.

Get a quote

Meet with your loan officer and REALTOR®

Your loan officer and REALTOR are experts, so they know what to expect when closing. Schedule a meeting to review the process and ask any unanswered questions. Remember that when it comes to closing, no question is too small.

Bring certified funds

When you pay closing costs, you'll need to either do a wire transfer or bring a cashier's check. Unlike personal checks, cashier checks are guaranteed not to bounce. Keep in mind that wiring money can take up to half a business day, so you should give yourself extra time for this option.

Finance big purchases beforehand

Making major purchases before you've received a loan can negatively alter your pre-qualified status. Wait until after you've closed to take out new credit or purchase expensive items like new furniture or appliances. You should also check with your loan officer before making large cash purchases.

Close on your lunch break

You never know how long it'll take to close on a home. It could take anywhere from half an hour to half a day. Give yourself time to thoroughly review paperwork and deal with any surprises by setting aside the entire day.

Assume that your documents are correct

In order to review each line of each document, you should ask for a copy of your documents at least 24 hours before closing day. To do so, you'll need to wait until the documents are drawn. Carefully review personal information and interest rates. Remember, don't let anyone rush you — even yourself!

Dismiss issues during the walk-through

By closing day, you'll want to sign the papers and move in. But first, it's important to have a thorough walk-through — even if time is getting tight. Talk to your REALTOR® about resolving any issues. Even if you've already signed the documents, funding can often be delayed until they are resolved.