Closing Checklist

bookshelfIn preparing for a mortgage loan closing, the borrower and seller can take several steps to make the process go smoother. Borrowers should consider prequalifying with a mortgage lender to see what mortgage terms are available. Many sellers will be more likely to give you their best terms if they know that you are prequalified for the purchase money loan. As the closing approaches, your lender and the closing attorney start assembling documents and putting the final disbursements on a closing statement. You can help in this process and prevent last minute delays by:

Discontinue use of your Equityline checks and give instructions to your lender to provide payoff information to the Closing Attorney. We’ll be happy to assist you with the proper forms.

Provide the Closing Attorney with contact and account information for other secured lenders, who may also require a signed statement to release information.

Avoid last minute payments that won’t have time to clear before closing unless required to avoid late fees, as these may reduce your cash available to close without an offsetting credit.

If you are a buyer, shop for your Homeowner’s insurance early. The lender will need to be shown as a loss payee on the policy and the closing attorney will need to contact your agent to insure that the correct information is shown on your policy. Long term loans require that the policy be paid up for one year in advance and may require an additional amount to be placed in escrow to pay the policy on renewal.

Arrange for final walk-through of property.

You will be required to bring funds to closing in the form of a cashier’s check or wire transfer. Transfer funds required from other accounts early to avoid a delay while checks and other transfers clear. This is particularly important where obtaining funds from a brokerage account or other non-commercial bank account.

Borrowers and Sellers should be sure to bring at least two forms of personal identification to closing - at least one containing a photo, even where you are well known to the closing attorney. Many lenders require the attorney to review and complete Patriot Act documents as part of the closing.

Any party planning to use a power of attorney should consult the closing attorney immediately. Documents must be specially prepared to reference the power of attorney and many lenders will not approve their use without prior notice.

Termite Inspections, Home Inspections and Surveys should be obtained and reviewed in advance of closing. Many purchase contracts require notice of defects to the seller prior to closing or the defects may be waived. Also, if defects are noted, there is time to examine the severity of the problem if this is done prior to the closing date.

If you are a Seller, provide the Buyer with information concerning all utility providers, including copies of recent bills if possible, so that services may be transferred quickly following closing and deposits refunded or transferred.

If a mobile home is located on the property, provide a copy of the Certificate of Title as soon as possible to the closing attorney and bring the orginal to closing.

If a Seller, bring all copies of keys, garage door openers and warranty information to closing or leave them in a conspicuous location in the home.

Provide your new address to post office, family, friends, relatives, and employers.