Title Tip: Four Tips To Make Your July Fourth Closing Sparkle

By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

There are several actions a buyer or seller can take to help their real estate transaction go smoothly. Here are my Top 4 July 4th Tips for keeping your closing from going kaboom:

1. Be prepared.

Whether you’re buying or selling, you’re going to need to get your stuff together. And it starts before you’ve signed the contract.  Buyers should have their mortgage company secured and be pre-approved for their loan. Contact your lender the day you sign the contract and start providing them all information they request. Have funds ready for closing and be prepared to wire money needed for closing to the title company.

Sellers should have their existing survey on hand and ready to send to the title company along with the notarized survey affidavit. Including it with the signed contract is ideal. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, tell everyone up front.

If you’ve got any tax issues, deal with them before the title company has to contact you about them. Taxes owed must either be paid prior to closing or will be deducted from your proceeds at closing. The owner can usually get it handled easier than a third party like a title company.

2. Pay attention to deadlines and critical dates.

Procrastination is deadly to a real estate deal.  Or is can be very expensive. A deadline is not a goal, it’s a deadline. Miss one and it may cost you.

When a seller fails to deliver a document, survey, information or other item within the time specified on the contact, it can cause closing delays and/or additional expenses to themselves. In some circumstances, a missed deadline may cause the contract to terminate.

A buyer needs to communicate with their lender throughout the transaction and respond to all requests promptly to avoid delays. Any and all amendments or addendums made after the contract is signed should be sent to the lender and title company immediately. Changes often require the loan to be sent back to the underwriting department for approval. And that takes time. The party causing a closing delay often ends up paying the other party’s expenses for that delay. Know your deadlines. If the title company doesn’t send you a list of deadlines or critical dates, ask for one.

3. Be realistic.

There are a lot of moving parts in a real estate transaction. Don’t expect your agent, lender or title company to be able to change or produce paperwork at the drop of a dime. There is an approval process in almost every step of the deal. And remember, people take vacations, lunch breaks, etc.

If your closing is scheduled at noon and your lender hasn’t sent final paperwork by 9:00 a.m., don’t be upset if you have to come in later. It takes time to review and confirm that documents are correct. And you probably aren’t the only client the lender, realtor or title company is dealing with that morning.

4. Work with professionals.

As a buyer or seller, you likely don’t look at contracts, loan documents or title commitments every day. But good real estate professionals do. Work with the pros you know and trust to guide you through your transaction. Let them help you keep your sale from exploding like a firecracker.

The opinions expressed are of the individual author for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Contact an attorney to obtain advice for any particular issue or problem.