You have successfully found a home you like, settled on a price with the seller, and are confidently moving toward you closing date. While it seems the big questions have been answered, there are still items on the homebuying journey you need to be ready to tackle. Follow this closing-day timeline prep list to make sure you transition from buyer to owner with minimal fuss and headaches.
Right After Negotiations
- Schedule the movers. It’s shocking how busy and booked up movers can be, especially during the summer months. Go ahead and talk to a handful of companies, get quotes, and book your move in advance.
- Schedule the home inspection. Give the inspector plenty of time to get to the house, inspect it, and write up the report.
- Start throwing stuff away. Get rid of items you won’t be taking with you.
One Month Out
You may think it’s still a long time to closing, but you need to stay on a positive financial course.
- Keep your current job. Your mortgage loan is banking on your steady employment history and income to extend you credit. Don’t quit, change jobs, or drop to part-time. Any of these moves could derail your closing day.
- Forgo big spending. You may be tempted to purchase a vehicle to park in your new driveway, or snap up some nice, new furniture. Avoid doing this before closing, especially if you are planning to buy these items on credit. These expenditures could mess up your credit ratios and deplete your savings, which could make you look more risky to lenders.
- Pay your bills on time. Your mortgage lender will check your credit again right before closing, and new late payments could negatively affect you and hinder your closing.
Two Weeks Out
As you move closer to your closing day, start getting even more serious about preparing.
- Compile your documents. You’ll need to take several pieces of information to the closing table. Your photo identification (a driver’s license or passport), proof you’ve bought homeowner’s insurance, and any separation agreement or divorce decrees. Also plan on having the funds you will need for title insurance and closing costs accessible at closing.
- Review the home inspection. You paid for a home inspection to make sure you could avoid unwelcome surprises from you new property. Read every section and ask the inspector to explain anything you don’t understand. If there are issues you need to clear up with the seller, talk to your real estate agent and make a plan.
One Week Out
Closing day is almost here, and excitement is bound to be running high. Get busy making the rest of your homebuying journey simple and stress-free.
- Start packing. Hopefully you’ve already begun de-cluttering and planning what will make the move and what won’t. Get some boxes and start packing up each room a section at a time. Bubble wrap your breakables and label every box so you’ll know the contents when you get to your new place.
- Review your closing disclosure. It’s a requirement that you sign this document three days before closing, so you have time to digest it thoroughly. It will outline the specific terms of your loan, closing costs, and any other fees that are your responsibility. If you have any questions about it, contact your loan officer immediately for assistance.
- Take time off. If you are able to take half a day, or a full day, off work on closing day, you’ll be glad you did. It will give you time to handle closing without feeling rushed to get back to your job.
It’s rock and roll time!
- Arrive a bit early. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes in case of traffic and try to get to the closing location before your scheduled time. Either relax in your vehicle or go in and wait. Running late will only add to the stress of the day.
- Be prepared to sign your name ALOT. There are going to be dozens of documents that require your signature. Ready yourself to deal with all of them during closing, which may take half an hour or longer.
- Celebrate! You are the proud owner of a new home! Congratulations!