Closing day is an exciting time for everyone! Here are just a few short things to keep in mind on your big day!
Review the "HUD"
"HUD" is a word that agents, title companies, and lenders will toss around and it has a few meanings depending on the context. HUD literally means "Housing and Urban Development" is a federal department of our government created in 1965 to administer federal programs dealing with better housing and urban renewal practices. One of these developments is a form called a "HUD-1" or "closing settlement statement." As the buyer, you have the opportunity to review this document prior to close and will see it again at closing. A recent change in regulation requires this review to be complete 3 days prior to close. The HUD will list all of the numbers from the lender, to the seller, and any party in between. You will see prorated taxes, document and recording fees, title, real estate, lending, & insurance fees as well as any other money moving from one party to another (like a credit from the seller to the buyer to cover repairs or an amount held in escrow for the buyer to pay contractors). Your title agent will help you understand exactly what each charge is and why it is there.
At the bottom of the HUD, you will see the amount due from buyer. This is what you will bring to the closing table in a cashiers check. It usually consist of your downpayment plus your closing cost.
Final Walk Through
I jokingly tell my clients that the final walk through is something we do to make sure repairs were completed to the satisfaction of the buyer and that the house is still there. It's funny, but yes, there are "old stories" that we have all heard in the business about a buyer closing on a property and they show up only to see a tornado has flattened it or worse, a seller has literally moved the home! The final walk through ensures that you are purchasing the home in the same condition or better on the day of close. We will usually walk through a few hours before or the evening prior to closing day.
You've made it!! It is finally here! You will need to bring a government issued id with a photo and your cashiers check.
Be flexible. Sometimes this day will change depending on all of the parties involved. Most of the time you can plan on it being in the same week or so.
When to switch utilities?
Most sellers will give you a day or two to switch over your utilities, but I would call them the week before closing and get the transfer ready for the day of closing. It is best to schedule your closing in the morning and the utilities for that afternoon/evening. Ask the sellers to delay the shut off a day or two after closing.
You should have a key or two and hopefully the garage door openers. It is time to go home!! Schedule a lock smith to change out your locks or rekey your home. You never know who else may have keys, so I always suggest changing them out just incase.