Contract to Closing – The process you need to know to close successfuly!
The Real Estate Closing Process
HOURS OF OPERATION/QUESTIONS: The Closing Department is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. As you can imagine we are on the phone all day following up on the many details of all our clients’ transactions. We try to return calls promptly, but if you get our voicemail message let us know the best way to reach you.
MORTGAGE APPLICATION: If you have not already chosen a lender, and need a mortgage referral, we will be happy to make some recommendations. The application must be completed within the contract guidelines. The loan process can sometimes be a nuisance, but please understand that detailed documentation is required. If you haven’t purchased a home in several years, it is a much more complicated process. If you feel something is unjustified, please discuss it with your loan officer and, of course, call the Closing Department if you are not satisfied with the answers you are getting. If your loan is approved with “conditions”, these must be fulfilled prior to closing or sometimes they will allow you to bring papers to closing. If you have just sold a home, they will require a copy of your closing statement.
PRE-QUALIFICATION: You may have had a loan officer qualify you for a mortgage based upon the verbal information you told them while you were looking for property.
PRE-APPROVAL: A lender has reviewed your credit, verifications, and all other required documentation and approves your loan prior to finding the property to purchase. Lender approval of the appraisal would follow after a contract is signed to purchase a property. (Pre-approval is an optional step)
LOAN APPLICATION: You must complete loan application documents to start the loan process. If you have not been pre-approved this must be completed within the time period noted on the contract.
APPRAISAL: The lender will order an appraisal on the property. You must pay the lender up front for this expense.
LOAN COMMITMENT: This is the lender’s commitment to provide a mortgage to purchase a property. You must receive this loan commitment from the lender within the time period noted on the contract.
INSPECTIONS: Schedule any inspections to fall within contractual guidelines. You should have received several recommendations of certified inspectors that will provide excellent service. Please notify the Closing Department of the time and date of the inspection to coordinate access. Please have the name and phone number of the inspector available. Once the inspection is completed, the Closing Department will review the report with you, discuss your concerns and compile a list of repairs, which you will need to sign. You will be notified of the seller’s response regarding repairs.
CONDO DOCUMENTS, APPLICATION & APPROVAL: The listing agent will provide condo documents for your review. A condo application may be required to purchase in certain communities. If this is required, the Closing Department will obtain this for you. Submit the application and any required fee to the appropriate association or management company. An interview may be required. If an application and/or interview are required, these items must be completed prior to closing. Time must also be allowed for the approval to be sent to the closing company for closing.
HAZARD INSURANCE: Immediately secure & pay for homeowner’s hazard insurance. Ask your lender for the proper clause required on the policy. Enclosed are several recommendations for insurance agents that will give you excellent service.
Within 2-3 weeks prior to closing, a SURVEY will be scheduled. If you have a preferred company, please notify the Closing Department. We will order the survey for you in order to insure completion in time for closing.
Arrange UTILITIES connections to start the day of closing. Please refer to the attached list of utility companies and other pertinent information.
WALK-THRU: It is suggested that this be done 24-48 hours prior to closing, if possible. This is just to make sure that the home is in the same condition as when you signed the contract, and to review any repairs that may have been made per the inspection report. The Closing Department will contact you to schedule this. If you will not be here for closing, you can have a friend, relative, or your agent complete the walk-thru for you.
CLOSING FUNDS: The Closing Department will review the closing statement prior to closing. You will be notified of the check amount. Your closing funds will need to be in the form of a cashier’s check, payable to the closing company, or funds wired into the closing company’s escrow account.
CLOSING: All parties whose names appear on the contract must attend closing unless prior arrangements were made for a mailaway. If this is to be a primary residence, the spouse also needs to sign the mortgage, even if their name does not appear on the contract. Please bring driver’s license for identification.