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After the Contract is Signed, The Next Steps

You’ve signed the contract and are looking forward to moving into your new home, but there are a few steps that cannot be overlooked. By following these easy steps, you will ensure yourself a smooth move into your new home.

First, get the home inspected. Arrange a time to return to the property for the inspection, typically a few days after the contract has been signed. A professionally licensed inspector will accompany you through the home and point out concerns or any items that need repair. Based on the concerns/ needed repairs, you may want to go back to the seller and ask them to repair/replace certain items and/or issue you a credit for these (based on estimates by appropriate professionals) at the closing.

Set up an appointment with your mortgage consultant. Ask him/her to get you a list of the documentation you will need. Some things may include: W-2 forms or signed tax forms for the past two years, copies of your most recent bank statements (current and consecutive for at least two months), copies of your most current pay stubs or proof of income if self-employed. Ask the mortgage consultant what fees will need to be paid upon application and their amounts.

Have your Realtor suggest the names of three real estate attorneys. They will do the title work, examine the survey, and prepare mortgage documents and all the necessary closing paperwork. After the settlement, they will prepare packages for your mortgage lenders, accounting and title insurance, record documents with the county, and issue the closing proceeds. You should receive a copy of the survey at closing. If you don’t: ask for one. Also, you should get a HUD-1 Settlement statement. Give a copy of this to your tax accountant next tax time. There may be fees you can deduct.

You will need to provide proof of homeowner’s insurance at this time. You have the right to choose your own insurance company. If you have not selected one, work with your real estate agent for a referral to a reputable company.

Obtain certified funds for the settlement. Your real estate attorney will be able to tell you a few days in advance the exact fees that will be due.

Conduct a final walk through of the home. Be sure to note any discrepancies from the home inspection that has already been completed. By taking the time to go through this process in a detailed and timely manner, your transition into your new home will be easy and stress-free! Bring a digital camera so, if the property is not free of the previous owner’s possessions, debris, etc., you can bring the camera to closing as proof of this. A credit may be given for excessive junk left at the property. Also, now is also the time to transfer all the utilities into your name.

Choose your agent wisely. You are looking for experience (how many homes have they sold?), referrals (do they have testimonials from satisfied previous clients?), integrity and the dedicated energy to get the results you need.