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I’m going to talk about how to move from contract to closing as a buyer. First of all, congrats! You’ve found the perfect home and now you not only submitted an offer, but it was accepted. Now you’re in the limbo phase where you’ve found the perfect home but can’t quite move into it yet. Well, there’s still plenty to do during this time. In fact, I’m going to walk you through the steps from contract to close. This includes what while you wait.
What are the steps between contract to close?
Contract to Close Checklist for Buyers
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If you thought this time was just going to be filled with packing, you’re in for a nice surprise! There’s plenty more for you to do.
- Provide your lender a copy of the contract – this is a must. Your lender will need to get the ball rolling on all the paper work that’s needed to secure the loan. The more time he/she has, the better things will be. You don’t want to have closing pushed back because your loan is still in underwriting due to delays that you could have prevented.
- Get paperwork ready – your lender is going to ask you for a TON of paperwork. So, get ready to hand over your financial life. You’ll need 2-3 months of your bank statements for every checking and savings account. You’ll need 401k statements, stocks, and paperwork for other investments. You’ll also need 2-3 months of income statements.
- Order a home inspection – ask if your home inspector includes a radon inspection comes with his report. You’ll want to use this opportunity to understand how your home works, how to check on certain items for maintenance. You’ll also want to get a good idea as to how long major components will last before they need to be replaced or repaired.
- Negotiate based off home inspection – if you thought the negotiation phase was over, think again! Once you find out the condition of the house, your buyer’s agent will guide you during a second round of negotiations. You’ll need to decide if you want an item repaired or replaced. Your other option is to ask the seller to decrease the cost of the home.
- Schedule a time for due diligence – this can include going back into the home and spending more time taking pictures and measurements. You’ll be able to decide which furniture will go in which rooms, measure your windows for window treatments. This is your time to determine if there are any deal breakers for you purchasing this home.
- Schedule a moving truck – depending on the season, moving trucks get booked up pretty quickly. So, get recommendations and schedule your truck ASAP.
- Contact insurance company – your insurance company will want to know a lot of information about the house you’re buying. Give yourself a good 30 minutes or more to have a conversation. I also suggest you have the contract and listing information available if possible. Just to give you an idea, you’ll be asked for the number of beds, baths and fireplaces, as well as the square footage. Another question you may be asked is how far you are from a fire station and fire hydrant.
- Schedule closing date – of course you’ll want to know when closing is scheduled for you can plan!
- Schedule utilities – I highly recommend you get an average the cost of utilizes before your due diligence ends. My husband and I were considering purchasing a home and the gas and electric utilities were so astronomically high, we changed our mind. I’m so glad we checked, because utility costs will certainly impact your future budget. You’ll also need to select your service providers and schedule dates to have them switch utilities in your name. Don’t forget about the all of the other places you need to update with your mailing address. There’s a complete list in the Better Buyer Savvy Seller Address Change checklist. Download it for free.
- Secure certified funds for closing – you will need to communicate with your bank and the closing attorney. Basically, you will wire funds to the closing attorneys bank. Follow their wire instructions carefully. You will need to ensure funds are wired in enough time for the closing attorney to verify. Otherwise, closing will get delayed.
- Final walk through – you’ll use this time to confirm agreed upon items are still in the home and the home and it’s in acceptable condition. Also confirm that negotiated items from the inspection have been repaired or replaced to your liking.
- Prepare for closing – I’ve written a lot of good info about what you can expect on closing day. However, in one short sweet sentence, you’ll need a picture ID, certified funds, a copy of your insurance policy.
Want to make sure you don’t have surprise after surprise while under contract to buy your new home? Follow this Contract to Close Checklist for Buyers so you know what to expect on the way to the closing table!
Home Closing Checklist for Buyers
I just shared how to move from contract to closing as a buyer. My hope is that this shed some light on that fact that there’s still plenty to do during this time. In fact, the next step that will help is for you to download our free Closing Checklist for Buyers. It has a checklist to take you from contract all the way to closing day, so you feel completely prepared.