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10 Steps to a Successful Settlement

Successful settlement is the end goal of any real estate transaction. Finding your perfect home is the beginning to many years of wonderful memories but there are some additional subsequent details that must be managed to ensure that happens.

1.Notify your lender and lock your rate

Once you have negotiated a price and secured the right property for your family, quickly begin working with your lender so they can lock the best interest rate for you.  Some rate locks are 30-days and others are 45-60 days.  It’s important to know this upfront so that you are not in a position to have to pay additional money to keep your rate if settlement goes beyond your rate lock period.

2.Ensure that deposit is received by your REALTOR® and deposited once contract is ratified

With a real estate transaction, it is typical to provide a good faith/escrow/earnest money deposit at time of offer or once your contract is accepted and both buyer and seller have signed.  This deposit will be held until time of closing and applied to your purchase price.

3.Watch deadlines for contingency completions

If you have inspection contingencies in your contract, it is important to make sure your inspections are all completed within the time periods allotted in the contract.  This way, if there are repairs that need to be addressed, you have ample time to notify the sellers and get them repaired prior to closing.  If you miss the deadline then you may not be able to ask for repairs.

4.Select a title company and/or closing attorney

Your buyer’s agent will discuss the options with you in the area for settlement providers and send them your real estate sales contract on your behalf.  The title company will start working on the title search and with your lender in preparation for closing.

6.Keep tabs on your financing

Your lender will need a lot of documentation throughout the application and approval process.  Be sure to turn those things around in a timely fashion so as not to delay settlement.

7.Remove contingencies

If you have other contingencies in the contract (such as a feasibility study), be sure to notify your agent once the contingency has been satisfied so that the seller and seller’s agent know that things are moving forward with the transaction.

8.Coordinate settlement date with all parties to the transaction

Your REALTOR® will discuss closing dates with work for you, the seller and the title company.  Expect to do a walk through prior to closing.  The closing date is specified in the contract but sometimes closings occur a day or so earlier if all parties agree.

9.Review settlement documents

No later than 3 days prior to closing, the title company and lender will issue a CD (Closing Disclosure) for your review.  If any changes are made to the CD after it’s issued the 3-day period will have to be reset and may delay closing.  It’s important that you review this as soon as it comes in.

10.Walk Through of Home

Prior to closing (usually an hour or two before closing), your REALTOR® will walk you through the property to make sure the condition of the property is the same or better and meets your expectations.

11.Finalize the closing

The last leg of the homebuying process has arrived!  Your settlement typically will last 30-60 minutes depending on how much paperwork you have to review and sign.  After the ink has dried and the funds are disbursed, the home is yours.  Now you can enjoy the property for years to come!

Source: Betsy Spiker Holcomb/REALTOR®, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales