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Once your contingencies are taken care of, you can take a breath and look forward to moving into your new home! Take some time now to plan for repairs or alterations you want to have done after closing. Decide whether you want to have all the work done before you move in, or whether you want to move in first, then tackle the projects on your home. If you want to get the renovations done before you move in, schedule your contractors now, so they can be on the job soon after closing.
If professional movers will be handling your move, contact them now to get your move-in date on the calendar. Even if your possession is immediately after closing, there may be things you want to take care of before all your belongings are moved in, such as cleaning, and alterations or repairs. Take all those things into consideration before setting your move in date with your movers.
If you are obtaining a loan, your lender will require you to purchase a certain amount of insurance on the property. Proof of insurance will be required when you attend closing. The value you need to insure will depend on the lending institution and the purchase price of the property. Even if it’s a cash purchase, you’ll want an adequate amount of property insurance to protect your investment. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on homeowner’s insurance by shopping around for insurance. You can also save money with these tips.
- Consider a higher deductible. Increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars can make a big difference in your premium.
- Ask your insurance agent about discounts. You may be able get a lower premium if your home has safety features such as dead-bolt locks, smoke detectors, an alarm system, storm shutters, or fire-retardant roofing materials. Persons over 55 years of age or long-term customers may also be offered discounts.
- Insure your house NOT the land under it. After a disaster, the land is still there. Subtracting the value of the land when deciding how much homeowner’s insurance to buy will help you avoid paying more than you should for your insurance.
As your Realtor, we will be happy to recommend experienced, knowledgeable insurance agents who may be able to help you.
If you’ve ever been without electricity, water or natural gas for more than a day, you know that this is an experience you’d rather not repeat. That may be especially true when you’re going through the process of moving all your belongings from your old home into your new one. About a week before closing, contact the local utilities to transfer the service into your name, effective on the closing date. As your Realtor, we’d be happy to provide you with contact information for all of your utility companies!
The Closing Agent & Settlement Package
A closing agent plays a key role in finalizing real estate and mortgage transactions. In Michigan, title companies often act as the closing agents. If you are getting financing for the property, you will probably have a “split closing,” which means that there will be two title companies that work together and are involved in closing the transaction.
The seller or seller’s agent selects the title company that will be used for the “sell side,” or documents pertaining to the transfer of title, such as the deed. The title company will research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing, and that all new encumbrances (like your mortgage if you’re financing the property) are properly added. This title company will also furnish you with a title insurance policy, which provides you as the buyer peace of mind that no one can claim the property as their own later. They will also ensure the accuracy of each monetary transaction involved in the sale, such as how much the seller will receive, how much will be paid in taxes, and other fees. They will also handle the filing and recording of much of the paperwork, to update county records to show you as the new owner of the property.
The buyer or buyer’s agent selects the title company that will be used for the “buy side.” This title company works with your lender to get the required documents, such as the closing disclosure that includes your loan rate and costs, and will furnish the lender with their own title policy, using the same methods as explained above. Additionally, they will provide you with final numbers that include lender fees that the “sell side” title company does not have.
Shortly before closing day, the seller’s title company will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement that summarizes and details the financial transactions involved in the sale, and the buyer’s title company will provide the buyer with the closing statement and loan-related documents.
Because the sale and purchase of real estate is a major transaction, it will have a significant impact on your finances for years to come. When you receive a settlement package, it’s important to review it all carefully. Pay particular attention to make sure the interest rate is the one you locked in, and that your closing costs and fees approximate what was quoted to you. Also, confirm that there is no prepayment penalty. If you were to sell the property or otherwise want to pay the loan off early, you should not be penalized for that. Vanderhoef Properties can help make sure any questions you raise about the property or the closing package are properly answered.
Funds for Closing
The settlement package provided by your title company will tell you what funds you need to bring to closing, and the form of payment required. If you are mortgaging the property, your lender will either provide your loan directly to the title company, or provide it to you in the form of a certified or cashier’s check that you’ll endorse at the closing. If you are bringing other funds to the closing, you can elect to either have them wired electronically into the title company’s escrow account, or bring a certified bank check to the closing in the amount specified on the settlement statement.
You’ve come this far. Don’t break open that bottle of champagne just yet. You’ll want to take care of the final walk-through and, of course, the closing.
Final Walk-Through Inspection
The final walk-through inspection usually takes place a day before or the day of your closing. We will accompany you as you visit the property to verify that everything is the same as when you made your purchase offer, ordinary wear and tear excluded. You should check anything that is important to you to ensure it is in working order, and that everything included in your purchase is still at the property. You can also use the opportunity to confirm that there are no extra items left behind by the seller that you will have to discard.
Seal the Deal
The last step is to officially close the escrow process – hence, the term “Closing.” You’ll sign all the necessary documents that transfer funds to the seller and ownership of the property to you. You and the seller(s) will sign the settlement statement, as will the closing agent, to certify its accuracy. If you are obtaining financing, you will also sign all of the loan documents required by your lender at the closing. Then the title company will distribute the funds from closing as called for in the settlement statement. For example, out of the proceeds received at closing, the title company will pay off any remaining balance on the seller’s mortgage, as well as the real estate commission. As a buyer, it’s important to know that your real estate broker’s commission is customarily paid out of the proceeds the seller’s broker receives. The buyer is generally not responsible for any additional commission.
If your agreement calls for immediate possession, the seller will transfer all property keys and any other important information to you at the closing.
We’ll Be There for You
Should any unforeseen issues occur, even once you obtain possession of your home, we are ready to assist you. Whether something at the property breaks down, or you have some other minor mishap – no need to worry! With our years of experience, we’ll be able to help you efficiently and with as little stress as possible deal with virtually any problem you encounter associated with your closing or moving in!
Ready to purchase a home? Get in touch with Vanderhoef Properties, at (248) 953-3305 or by email at sales(at)vanderhoefproperties(dotted)com. We’ll show you why our clients consider us among the most trusted real estate agents in Birmingham, Oakland County, and the surrounding areas.