Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Settlement Day
Appraisal is complete, all of the inspections are finished and your mortgage lender and title insurance company are making sure that all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed for settlement. So long as everyone is prepared you should be in and out in an hour or less. Here is a settlement checklist to keep you on track.
#1 Each borrower should be bring a government issued photo ID to settlement such as your driver’s license, passport, or military ID.
#2 Make a trip to the bank for the funds that you’ll need at closing. Unless you’ve made arrangements to wire the funds to the title company ahead of time, you’ll need a certified check or a cashier’s check payable to the title company handling your closing. If it turns out that you brought too much money, the title company will write you a check for the difference.
#3 Contact your real estate agent to schedule your pre-settlement walk through. This is your opportunity to inspect the final condition of the property and make sure nothing has changed since your last visit. Make sure any agreed upon repairs have been made and that no trash or unwanted items have been left behind.
#4 If you're planning on paying your first year's homeowner's insurance premium at settlement, the settlement company will need a copy of the invoice. If you've already paid it in advance, just bring a paid receipt.
#5 Bring your checkbook. Sometimes there will be minor adjustments for taxes, utilities or other miscellaneous items at the settlement table. Many title companies will accept a personal check to cover a small adjustment.
#6 If you’re signing for someone using a POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA), bring the original to closing. If one or more of the borrowers/buyers is unable to attend closing and your lender has authorized the use of a POA, you must provide the original signed and notarized document to the title company.
#7 Bring any unpaid real estate tax bills, (seller only). All outstanding real estate tax bills will be paid current at closing. Although there are typically discounts if the bill is paid within a certain time frame, the bill is considered due and payable as soon as it’s been issued.
#8 Be sure to get all keys, garage door openers and alarm codes for the property. Transferable utility contracts or warranties on any major appliances should be exchanged as well.
#9 Unless your utilities and waste removal are provided by the local municipality, you’ll want to set-up a new account prior to closing to avoid any interruption in service. If service is provided by the local municipality, your title company will provide them with your contact information for the new account. You’ll also want to schedule an installation date for your cable, internet & phone service.
#10 Be sure to leave closing with a copy of the first payment letter for your loan, and copies of the note, the deed and marked-up title.