Preparing to close on your first home? If so, then you're probably feeling pretty excited — and maybe a little anxious. You've probably also heard about just how complicated and drawn-out the formal closing process can be. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your closing goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible. From there, you can breathe a little easier as you anticipate becoming a homeowner.
Respond Promptly to Requests From Your Lender
In the weeks and even days leading up to your scheduled closing, your mortgage lender will be doing a lot of "behind-the-scenes" work that involves getting your loan formally approved and coordinating with other parties. There's a good chance that your mortgage agent will need to request some follow-up documentation from you along the way; this can include anything from copies of pay stubs and tax returns to bank statements and more.
If you receive a request for documents from your lender, be sure to respond as promptly as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely that your closing could end up delayed.
Keep Your Credit Score in Check
Remember that your mortgage approval is also based largely on your credit score and credit history, so you'll want to avoid any major changes to your credit report in the weeks leading up to your closing. One mistake first-time homebuyers tend to make is opening up a new credit card or maxing out an existing credit card to make major purchases for the new home (such as furniture); this can have a major impact on your credit score and could affect your mortgage eligibility, so it's best to wait until after closing to make these major purchases.
Consult With a Real Estate Closing Attorney
If you're not already working with a real estate closing attorney, now is a great time to begin. Specifically, a closing attorney can help you prepare for your closing date and ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. This can include researching the title on the property to ensure that it is free and clear before closing, as well as providing you with a convenient checklist to help you prepare for the closing date itself. And of course, if you have any questions or concerns leading up to your closing, a real estate closing lawyer may be able to help.
Closing on your first home is an exciting prospect, but it's important to make sure you're prepared! By following these tips, you can help the process go smoothly and seamlessly!