By Sandy Gadow—As the buyer who’s bought a home and are getting ready to close on the sale, there are many things to consider. Here’s a comprehensive list of important items to review and check off.
- Have you made a final walk-thru inspection of the property?
- Is the condition of the house or property as it should be? Are there any personal property items left behind by the Seller. Is everything in working order? Did you order a Home Warranty policy for future repairs? If so, did you review that policy?
- Are you satisfied that the Seller provided you with all required disclosure documents or any known defects on the property?
- Have you carefully reviewed your mortgage closing documents? Are the lender’s closing costs as they represented they would be? Are there any “junk fees” added on that you do not agree to? Are the names correct on the mortgage or Deed of Trust documents?
- Is the loan amount, interest rate, term of the loan, and prepayment penalty correctly stated? When will your first mortgage payment be due? Where will the payment be made?
- Do you agree with the title fees being paid to the title company, attorney, or escrow agency? Are they the same as previously quoted to you?
- Do you understand the prorations, those items or costs of which you will pay a portion of or be given a credit for? Are the prorated dates and amounts correct?
- It is clear on which day you will take possession of the property? Will the Seller hand over the keys on the day of closing or at a later date?
- Is the purchase price correct on the closing documents?
- Have you been credited for all deposits put into escrow either by you or on your behalf?
- Is your name correct on the grant deed? Is it spelled correctly, and does it include your correct middle initial? Is the manner in which you will take title stated correctly? Is the legal description of the property correct? Does this description conform with the one given in the title report? Are all the easements and rights-of-way properly listed?
- Were any questionable items on the title report removed or explained to your satisfaction?
- If there is any personal property included, are you being given a Bill of Sale, and do you agree with the items included?
- Are you paying for fire insurance yourself outside of escrow or through the closing agent? Is the premium correct and is the policy for a full year?
- Are the property taxes being paid in full? Ask when the next property tax bill will become due.
- Does your state allow a Homestead exemption? If so, and you want to choose this option, ask how you file for Homestead exemption status.
- Check that the return address on the Deed is where you will want the recorded Deed to be sent. (you will want to keep this official document in a safe place).
Sandy Gadow, president of Escrow Publishing Company, is a nationally recognized author and expert on escrow and title insurance, with 25 years in the industry. Sandy has appeared on CNN’s “Open House” show as a commentator covering real estate and her articles have appeared in the Washington Post and other regional newspapers. Sandy is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the California Escrow Association, and a member of the National Advisory Council for GoGetNotary.com. For more information, go to EscrowHelp.com.