If you ask most people about the closing process on their residential real estate property, they may tell you that they let their attorney worry about those details. While you do hire an experienced attorney for the purpose of giving you advice and guidance on the closing process, the buyer or seller still has plenty of responsibilities when it comes to making the closing as smooth as possible.

At least one week before closing, you should make a meeting with your attorney to discuss the details. Even though you rightfully put your trust in your attorney, you still need to know what is required of you at closing if you want to avoid surprises and get the process done properly.

Your Real Closing Costs

Most buyers know they will have closing costs and that those closing costs can usually be rolled into the mortgage for convenience. But it pays to know what your closing costs are, be prepared to negotiate some of those costs, and perhaps even consider paying for the costs out of your pocket.

Some of the fees that most people never expect include document preparation fees, courier fees, and a subject simply called miscellaneous fees. Ask your attorney for those fees in advance, and then see if you can do anything about getting them lowered. You should also learn exactly how much your fees will be and try to pay them out of your pocket at closing to lower the overall cost of your mortgage.

Property Taxes

Each state deals with property taxes different at real estate closings, and you need to know what you are paying to make sure you are not getting overcharged. Once again, the real estate taxes you owe are often lumped in with your mortgage and increase your overall cost of ownership. If you can pay your property tax bill out of your own pocket, then that would be preferable to allowing those taxes to gain interest over the term of your loan.

Are The Utilities In My Name?

The transitioning of utilities from seller to buyer is not really a part of the closing, but it is still a critical part of taking ownership of a property. You may want to work out an agreement with the seller to transfer utilities to your name a day or two prior to the closing date to make sure that the heat is on when you walk into your new home for the first time.

Is Everything In Order?

Your attorney will make sure that all of the official loan and title paperwork is ready to go, but that is not the only concern you will have. Are there any papers you need to bring to closing that you have not accumulated yet? Does the bank want to see one more income statement before releasing the check just to be sure? When you meet with your attorney, be sure to discuss every detail and every piece of paper that will be required at closing to make sure everything is in order.

Most people step aside for a real estate closing and let their attorney do the work. While this is a smart approach, it can also be an incomplete method as well. Work with your attorney to make sure that all of your paperwork is in order and that you do understand what is expected of you at closing.

After months of hunting and negotiations, it is finally time to close on your house. You have done everything the seller, bank, and both lawyers have asked you to do and now you are ready to take the keys to your new house, right? Not so fast. The closing on a residential home can be a painful process if you do not take the proper precautions. But if you are sure to take some extra steps, then you can take away the pain that sometimes comes with closing on your new home.

Talk To Your Lawyer Before Closing

If you have a good lawyer, then they will be in touch with you throughout the process to make sure everything is ready to go. But just in case your lawyer forgot to call about something or you were unaware of some papers you needed to sign, it is a good idea to meet with your lawyer one week before closing to tie up any loose ends.

A week in advance will give your attorney enough time to tackle any issues or correct any problems that may come up in your meeting. If you wait too long to have a meeting with your attorney, then you may have to go through the nasty process of trying to reschedule your closing.

Make Sure Your Funds Are Ready

If you are responsible for bringing any money to the closing, then make sure you have your cashier's check in hand before the transaction takes place. If you are unsure as to how much money you need to bring to closing or what form that money should take, then ask your real estate agent and your attorney for any clarification.

Have Your Paperwork Filled Out And Ready

Yes, you have an attorney helping you with your closing, but sometimes there winds up being paperwork you are responsible for bringing to closing that your attorney does not get involved with. If there is any paperwork required of you at closing, then spend some time a day or two before closing to make sure that paperwork is filled out and ready to go.

Make Sure The Lender Is Ready

The best way to ensure that your lender has everything together for closing is to work with a lender that has plenty of experience. But even if your lender is experienced, you should still give them a call a few days before closing to make sure everything is in order. It is usually a this point where the lender reminds you of a form you need to bring that you had forgotten, or may even find a form you forgot to sign and will ask you to come in to take care of it before closing.

Be Familiar With The Sales Agreement

At closing, any contingency plans you put together with the seller to have parts of the house repaired prior to closing will come up. You need to know exactly what is expected of the seller, and be prepared to sign off on every contingency with the confidence that comes from completely understanding your sales agreement.

Closing day on a residential real estate transaction is a big deal. If you want that big day to go smoothly, then you need to do your part in making sure that everything in your scope of influence is prepared and ready to go.

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