A real estate transaction has a lot of moving parts. After negotiating, coming to an agreement and entering into a contract, there are several things that should be completed to ensure a seamless closing!
More often than not, most real estate contracts come with contingencies. In other words, there are things that the buyers must accomplish prior to closing on their new home. A home inspection is one that cannot be overlooked. A Home inspection will reveal issues with the home that you “the buyer” can request be fixed prior to closing. Typically, you will have a grace period to get the inspection completed and review the results. The average cost for a home inspection in Florida ranges from $300 to $500.
You will also need to get the appraisal completed. Your mortgage company will use a third-party vendor to conduct the appraisal. The appraiser will evaluate your home and determine a fair market value. If the appraised value is less than the sale price, you have the opportunity to bring cash to the table to make up the difference, or back out of the deal all together.
One of the biggest contingencies is financing. This is simple, yet complex at the same time. You cannot buy anything without money. The mortgage process can be tedious but worth it when you walk in the front door to your new home for the first time. Real Estate contracts will provide a deadline to obtain financing for the home. During that time period, you must be able to obtain a loan that will cover the purchase price of the home.
2.) Title Process
To legally own a home in Florida, the buyer must be able to obtain title to the property to legally own the property. As part of the closing process, your mortgage lender will require a title search, and you’ll need to purchase title insurance to protect you from legal claims to the house. For more information on the title and closing process, check out our blog “The Closing Process”.
3.) Final Mortgage Approval
After you made your earnest money deposit and all contingencies have been met, your loan package is sent to underwriting. Underwriters are similar to detectives. It is their duty to make sure you’ve represented yourself and your finances truthfully, and that you haven’t made any false or misleading claims on your loan application. Lying on a mortgage application carries severe penalties. The underwriter will check your credit score, review the homes appraisal, and ensure you financial situation hasn’t changed. This is not the time to buy a new car or take out new loans. Doing so could prevent the purchase of the home.
4.) Walk through the home
Traditionally, you are allowed to walk through the home prior to closing. During the walk through you are ensuring that the previous owner has vacated and that the home is in the agreed upon condition per terms of the contract. If your home inspection revealed problems that the sellers had agreed to fix, you’ll want to make sure those repairs were made.
5.) Show up to your closing
We will reach out to you throughout this entire process asking for documents pertinent to the legal transfer of ownership. When you show up for the closing, please bring all required documents. Here is a brief list of what you may have to bring:
- Proof of homeowners insurance
- A copy of your contract with the seller
- Your home inspection reports
- Any paperwork the bank required to approve your loan
- A government-issued photo ID (Note to newlyweds who just changed their name: The ID needs to match the name that will appear on the property’s title and mortgage.)