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The Closing Process: What To Expect If You're Buying A House


The closing process can be broken down into three parts...

Escrow Signing

A week or two before closing, your real estate agent will coordinate your escrowing signing. Make sure you bring a valid picture ID to your escrow signing. In addition, you'll have to bring your final deposit check too.

You'll be signing a handful of mortgage and escrow-related documents. Make sure you understand the documents you are signing. You are the client. Don't be afraid to ask a question. As you sign each document, it's important you:

- Verify the information on the final settlement statement. Is the price correct? If you received a buyer credit, is that reflected on the statement?

- When is your first mortgage payment due?

- Is your name spelt correctly on each document?

Final Walk Through

Your final walk through is the last time you get to see the home before you become the owner. It's important you take this seriously. It's understandable that you're excited to be a homeowner. However, the purpose of your final walk through is to ensure the home is the condition you agreed to buy it.

For example, say you and the seller agreed that the seller was to repair the double tap breaker in the electrical panel. Most times, when the repair is complete, the listing agent will send your agent an invoice and or a picture of the repair. To most buyers, that's sufficient. However, your final walk through is the time you can actually see the repair was completed.

In addition to verifying repairs, you can also:

- Look for obvious damages to the home.

- Run the water and flush the toilets and see if there are any leaks.

- Turn the lights on and off.

Now That You're The Owner

When your transaction closes, it's important you make it a priority to pickup the keys from your real estate agent. When you get the keys, don't forget to rekey the home.

Also, make sure you switch the utilities into your name. Prior to closing, you should make a list of all the providers you need to contact. This can include, the board of water supply, HECO, and your cable and internet provider.

Oh yeah, don't forget to forward your mail to your new address.

-RO

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Ryan Oda (RB-23073) is a Real Estate Advisor with Forward Realty (RB-19423) in Honolulu, HI.