5 Tips to Get from Contract to Close as a Home Buyer
You are under contract to buy a new home. Congratulations! It is an exciting time, but getting to closing has a deadline. As a home buyer, you have to stay focused. Here are the 5 main things to think about to get to closing and moved into your new home smoothly.
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You are under contract to buy a new house. You may be thinking what do I do now?
In this post and video, I share with you 5 tips to remember as you go from contract to close.
Tip #1 is to stay in very close contact with your lender. They will have last-minute questions and last-minute paperwork that you need to get to them as soon as you can. While you're under contract, it's important to remember to avoid any large purchases—think new car, new furniture—you need to wait to buy those items until after you have closed on the house. The lender will be doing a final debt to income ratio check and it needs to be very close to where it was when you applied for the loan. Even if you're buying something that has a monthly payment plan that change in your credit can affect the approval of your loan so make sure you wait till after closing to furnish that new house or to get that new car for your new garage.
Tip #2: Stay in very close contact with your title attorney, settlement company, or your closing attorney. There will be several pieces of information that they will need to gather from you before your settlement day. The sooner you provide those pieces of information to them the better. Every little step that the title company does leads up to you being able to buy that house on the date that you have put in the contract. So make sure if they need something you get it to them quickly.
Tip #3 Order your homeowners insurance, set up your utilities, and forward your mail. Let's start with your homeowners insurance. Your lender will require that you have a policy on your new house before you go to closing. Shop around and find a great rate on the content and the coverage that you need. Your lender may give you some guidelines as to how much coverage you need on the house, so ask them that question during the escrow period to ensure you get the right policy. The second part, call all the utility companies. I would do this two weeks before closing so they have plenty of time to get your new accounts setup, you'll want to call the gas company, the electric company, the water company, cable and internet. The seller will call the same companies and tell them the date that's in the contract that you are buying the house. Uou'll give them the same date and they will make the switch automatically. The exception to that is the cable and Wi-Fi. That account will probably be cancelled outright. You'll need to set up a new account with the specs of the cable and Wi-Fi that you want. Don't forget to forward your mail there's nothing worse than missing something important. Go online with the US Postal Service and make sure they have your forwarding address two to three weeks before you move so there's enough time for them to transfer that in their system. Also, do you get regular deliveries from Amazon or grocery store or another retailer? Go online and change your address with every online retailer that you shop from so you don't miss a delivery.
Tip #4: Book your movers! While it is possible to close and move on the same day it is extremely stressful. There is nothing worse than an idling moving truck sitting outside of the settlement company and a snafu happens and they have to put your contents in storage for the night or for a couple of nights. Aim you more for a day or two after you close on the home and booked the mover early. During certain seasons of the year, movers can get really busy so you want to make sure that you get the date and the time that you want. Tf you're moving in the city and you need to park your moving truck on the street, make sure you reach out to your Police Department or Department of Transportation to ensure you have the right signage posted so that your moving truck has a place to park.
Tip #5: Schedule your final walk-through. You're so close now. This is when it gets really exciting. You are days from closing and you get to walk through your new house. This appointment gives you time to go into the house and make sure that everything is ready to go. If you did a home inspection and there were items that you and the seller agree to have repaired or corrected or replaced, it's a good idea to schedule a home inspection walkthrough prior to the final walk-through. This will give you plenty of time to make sure those items have been taken care of correctly, and it'll give the seller plenty of time to correct anything that they may have missed on the list. Then you can schedule a final walk-through the day before or the morning of closing so that you know everything is ready when you get handed the keys.
That's it! The next thing on the list is your closing day. 5 easy steps to get you to that really exciting day of purchasing your new home.