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Tips for Simple Closing

1. Ask questions
Knowing what to expect and communicating with all parties involved in the deal are key to a successful closing, says Neil Garfinkel, a real-estate attorney at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson LLP in New York
  

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A week before closing, “talk to the people who are representing you, and tell them you’d like to spend a couple of minutes to discuss what to expect,” Garfinkel says.

Don’t be afraid to bother your loan officer or your real-estate agent, says Jeff Richardson, a real-estate agent at Alliance Bay Realty in Newark, Calif.

“Stay on them,” he says. “Ask them ‘Do you have everything you need?’ Don’t assume everyone knows what they are doing.” 

2. Anticipate human error
Richardson says he recently represented a buyer whose closing failed because of missing loan documents. The buyer was a co-signer on his brother’s mortgage, and the lender had requested 12 canceled checks showing that the brother, not the buyer, was paying the old mortgage. The buyer could come up with only eight checks, and the loan officer said that would be enough. That was weeks before closing.

“I kept saying that wasn’t going to work,” says Richardson, who also has worked as a mortgage broker. “The requirement is 12 checks. How can eight checks be sufficient?” 

3. Review loan documents in advance
One way to ensure all is going as planned is to tell the lender that you want to review the documents before closing, or ask your attorney to do so.

By law, you have the right to review the closing-settlement statement, or the HUD-1 form, at least 24 hours before closing. Compare that form to the good-faith estimate you received when you applied for the loan.

“You should have everything you are going to sign before you sign it,” Richardson says. “A lot of people don’t do that. When they get to closing, they are nervous, and they just want to sign and get the keys. That’s how people get in trouble.” 

4. Take a check
Another reason to review the loan documents in advance is so you know how much money you must bring to closing. And yes, you will need a check at closing, most likely a certified one.

Many buyers are so anxious and excited that they forget they need to stop at the bank to get the check.

Using a wire transfer is an option, but it may delay the closing, says Rafael Castellanos, a managing partner at Expert Title Insurance Agency in New York.

“Some people think a wire transfer is faster, but the closing won’t happen until they have actual confirmation that the wire hit,” Castellanos says. “Depending on the time the transfer was made, it could be a huge problem.”

The buyer must also bring photo identification and a copy of the homeowners-insurance policy, as well as the good-faith estimate, the HUD-1 statement or both, in case there are discrepancies. 

5. Take the day off
A smooth closing may take less than 30 minutes, but you won’t know for sure if your closing will go as planned until it’s done.

“There may be delays, especially if you are closing at the end of the month,” says Rob Nunziata, president of FBC Mortgage in Orlando, Fla. “Sometimes, people have to sit there for hours and say, ‘I’ve got to get back to work.’”

Trying to close during your lunch break is a bad idea, Castellanos says.

“Imagine you get these delays, and you are on your lunch hour,” Castellanos says. “Now you’re hungry, you’re frustrated and you’re late. That’s a pretty bad combination.”

 6. Expect the unexpected

You’re at the closing table. You’re told everything is good to go. All you need to do is sign. 

You must double-check the numbers on the mortgage note you are signing, even if you have received the HUD-1 form before closing.

“One of the biggest holdups in closing is when the mortgage documents are incorrect,” Castellanos says. “Sometimes, you have to correct the interest rate, or the amount is wrong and you need to fix it.”

Because of a simple typo, your loan documents may need to be sent back to the lender to be redone.

To prepare for these unexpected delays, borrowers should try to schedule their closings for earlier in the day. And don’t wait until the last day on the contract to close.

“You shouldn’t get to that line, especially when you are buying a foreclosure or short 

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About The Author

Joseph Sabeh Jr.

Please let me introduce myself, I am Joseph Sabeh, Jr a full time licensed professional realtor. I have been with Executive Homes Realty for over 13 years and was trained by my late father and Broker, Joseph Sabeh. I recently incorporated the company and we moved the office to 43513 Mission Blvd just last summer. I could not have found a more honorable place to work. After earning my experience selling high end Ralph Lauren suits and studying business management in southern California, I decided to pursue my dream of selling real estate and working with my father. He had already had such an excellent reputation and established a niche market of high end clientele that catered to the very best. I wanted to become the consummate professional just like him and have strived to become just that being just a phone call or email away from getting back to my client’s immediate needs! Known by my clients for my tenacity, perseverance , and excellence in negotia- tion(Certified Negotiation Expert), I have always strived to meet my clients high demands and goals. As a result of my professionalism, I have achieved an extensive portfolio of referrals from past and present clients. I credit my current values from my upbringing of my parents and the credit is due to them without question. Their integrity, pride, and willingness to sacrifice for the better of my life and my sister’s always left a mark on me that one day I will pass on. Their desire to achieve a better life and live it to the fullest is one that some families dream of and I certainly am appreciative of all of the education and etiquette I have learned from them both. I have sold condos up to 3.2 million dollar homes and I am here for any and all of your future real estate needs and wishing you the very best experience in your future real estate endeavors with me.

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