We are right in the beginning of home buying/selling season and for those of you who have bought/sold your home, you know it can be a hectic process with all of the paperwork, coordination, and confusion that can take place. Following are some tips and reminders that can help eliminate some of the confusion for those of you who will be buying or selling your home.
First, if you are planning on hiring your an attorney to assist you with your real estate transaction, it is always a good idea to have a conversation with him/her prior to signing the purchase contract. It is generally an unpleasant surprise for a signed purchase contract show up at your attorney’s office without having discussed it first. Discussing the transaction prior to signing the contract can streamline the process whether it be a buy or a sell. More importantly, there are very quick deadlines for attorney approval, usually 3 business days. If that time passes, then the contract is generally deemed approved and an attorney will have a difficult time amending any terms, if he/she is able to do so at all.
Another helpful tip to make the process go more smoothly if you are selling your home is to try and locate your abstract of title and survey. If you cannot easily locate it, then your attorney should be able to help you with this.
For home buyers, you will want to remember that a pre-approval is different than an actual mortgage commitment. Your pre-approval is something that you will want to have prior to looking for a home and enlisting the help of a real estate agent. The mortgage commitment is something that you get from your lender once you know what home you will be purchasing. It generally has a number of contingencies that must be completed before the lender will clear you to close.
In general, sellers must be moved out of their home on or before the date of closing. This means that all personal items are out of the home and the home is in “broom swept” condition. All hazardous materials must be out of the house as well, this generally includes old paint.
The seller will also want to make sure that they do a water/electrical meter reading before vacating the property. The buyer will want to be sure to change the utilities to their name on the day of closing.
The buyer will want to do a final walkthrough of their new home as close to the closing as possible, I usually recommend within 24 hours of the time of closing.
Hopefully these tips come in handy and help your buy/sell go as smoothly and stress-free as possible.