BuyersLocal Real Estate MarketSellersUncategorized February 26, 2024

Last Minute Issues on Closing Day? Here’s How to Deal

For many buyers, the time between getting an offer accepted and closing on a home can be a stressful one. Many people think that once they hit closing day, they’re in the clear, but the truth is, there are still some issues that can come up on closing day, and those issues often come as a surprise to the soon-to-be-homeowner.

The good news? There are ways to deal with closing day surprises; you just need to know the right way to handle the situation.

But what, exactly, does that look like?

A recent article from outlined closing day surprises, and how buyers can effectively deal with them, including:

Issues with the walkthrough. On closing day buyers should do a “walkthrough” of the house before signing on the bottom line. Walkthroughs are an opportunity to tour the property to make sure it’s still in the same (or better!) condition as it was when the contracts were signed, and that everything that should be in the house is intact, as well as anything that shouldn’t be there is gone. But what if the house isn’t in the same condition? For example, the basement has flooded from a recent flood or, now that the sellers have moved the furniture, it’s clear that pieces were strategically placed to hide flaws in the walls or floors? If you notice there are issues with the house during your final walkthrough, it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. Instead, ask the sellers to cover the cost of the repairs, and to put an adequate amount of money to cover the costs into escrow.

Disagreements over what comes with the home. Sometimes, there are misunderstandings about what stays and what goes when the seller leaves the home; for example, you might expect that the refrigerator you saw when you toured the home would be there when you moved in, but on closing day you find out the seller took it with them. So, what should you do? Unless an item was specifically included in your contract as part of your deal, it’s usually best to let it go, and just buy your own items once you move into the home. Unless you’re super attached to a particular item for some reason, it’s generally not worth losing the home over. But if the item was included in the listing or agreed upon terms of the contract, ask the sellers to return the item to the house, or replace it with a similar one before closing.

Money transfer issues. On closing day, funds need to be transferred from the lender to cover the cost of the home. Different financial institutions and title companies have different requirements over how those funds are transferred; for example, some prefer an electronic transfer, while others prefer a certified check. To avoid any misunderstandings, ask your agent and lender how funds should be transferred before closing day. And if you make a mistake, try not to stress too much; these issues can generally be cleared up pretty quickly.

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