Any time you’re buying or selling your own property, you naturally want the process to be as smooth and as seamless as can be. Indeed, it’s often said that the best real estate transactions are the ones that are absent any surprises. Unfortunately, transactions like that are exceedingly rare; usually, there’s at least some little glitch in the process, some unexpected happening that can briefly throw you for a loop.
A lot of those surprises may happen on closing day. As such, it’s in the best interests of home buyers and home sellers alike to be aware of some of the most common curveballs, and to be on the lookout for them.
We’ll list some of the most common closing day surprises below. Also remember that, for individualized tips for selling your house, you can always request your SOLD.com report. Claim your copy at any time, and take the first step toward getting your home sold (as smoothly and seamlessly as can be).
Common Closing Day Surprises
With that said, here are the closing day surprises to keep in mind.
A walkthrough that goes badly
Typically, the buyer will do a final walk-through of the home shortly before closing. This may happen the day of closing, or in some cases the evening before. It simply allows the buyer one more opportunity to ensure that the place is in good condition, and that any requested updates or repairs have been made.
But what if they haven’t been? Or what if a new issue, like a plumbing leak, has arisen? Typically, there are some last-minute negotiations that can be made, such as the seller pitching in a few extra bucks to cover repair costs. If you’re working with an agent, they can provide further advice.
The seller removes something they shouldn’t have
Maybe you were really looking forward to buying a home with an antique light fixture…but you realize at the last minute that the item was removed by the seller and that it’s already been moved to their new location!
Honestly, it’s typically unwise to let something like this derail the whole deal…and unless it’s a high-value item, you may want to just let it slide.
But the best approach of all is to make sure that these items are clearly covered in the contract, and that if there is a fixture you really have your eye on, you clarify that it’s part of the deal.
The mortgage isn’t approved
Probably the worst closing day surprise is to discover that the buyer hasn’t been approved for their mortgage loan. This will often result in the whole deal collapsing, which frustrates everyone. But there are a couple of ways to avoid it.
The first is to just make sure that, if you’re the buyer, you stay within the agreement you have with your lender. Remain in regular contact with your loan underwriter to make sure you’re not doing anything you shouldn’t.
Second, avoid big financial changes during the mortgage underwriting process. As you prepare to buy a new home, that’s a bad time to take out an auto loan, apply for a new credit card, or change jobs.
The buyer doesn’t have their payment ready
It goes without saying that, when you’re buying a home, you’ll need to pay for it! And usually, that means bringing a cashier’s check for the down payment and any associated fees and closing costs.
If the buyer shows up to the closing without the right form of payment, that can delay the closing by a few hours or even a couple of days. But this one, too, is pretty easy to avoid. If you’re buying, make sure you double and triple check with your agent and that you know exactly how much money you’ll need to bring…and what format to bring it in.
Get More Tips for Selling Your House, as Smoothly as Possible
Buyers and sellers alike can take simple steps to minimize the risk of unwanted closing day surprises.
For sellers, we would especially recommend claiming your SOLD.com report, which will tell you everything you need to know about selling your own property. Get yours and take the first step toward getting your home sold!