A Christmas present, a new baby, an unexpected album release from your favourite artist – surprises have their time and place. But closing day on perhaps the biggest purchase of your life is not one of those occasions.
As your real estate closing day approaches, you want to ensure that every “t” is crossed, every “i” dotted. You want your documents squarely in the hands of professionals and your money mobilized. Critically, you also want to ensure that you aren’t walking into a home replete with costly problems.
In this post, let’s explore a few ways that you, as a Canadian homebuyer, can avoid common closing day problems. Consider these cautionary tips to turn a potentially stressful day into the celebratory experience it ought to be.
Your Documents: View, Review, Repeat
Well before closing day, take time to review all your documents. Read (or re-read) the purchase agreement to ensure you have a solid understanding of your commitments and rights. When you receive the closing disclosure and loan estimate forms a few days before closing, carve out time to review the documents. If you have trouble understanding anything in the documents (which can happen, since real estate paperwork is steeped in legalese), ask your real estate lawyer for help.
Hire a Trustworthy Lawyer
Following the point above, hire a real estate lawyer as quickly as possible to avoid confusion on closing day. If you hire a real estate lawyer well in advance, you can come to them with questions, queries and concerns.
On the day itself, they are an indispensable resource, witnessing various signings, transferring the title, discharging the existing mortgages and more. Moreover, a trustworthy lawyer keeps you protected – from title fraud, unpaid tax liabilities, liens, etc.
Look for real estate lawyers in your area; for instance, if you are buying in Mississauga, find a real estate lawyer in Mississauga.
Don’t Rock the Boat Financially
In the weeks leading up to your closing day, you shouldn’t do anything to “rock the boat,” financially speaking. Most homeowners organize their mortgage approval well in advance of closing day (although recently, banks swamped by growing demand are approving closer to the closing day). Still, changes to your credit or financial situation can impact your approval right up to closing day.
In other words, the month before closing may not be the ideal time to stretch your finances with an expensive car, take out a new credit card or quit your job.
Act Quickly After the Final Walk-Through
The final walk-through generally takes place a day before closing. It’s during this time that you will see the property as you are buying it. And it’s here that you have a last chance to check that the home is in the agreed-upon condition, that agreed-upon appliances or furnishings are in place, and that the home is in proper working order.
If you find issues – and let’s hope you don’t – act quickly with your realtor to hash out solutions. Most sellers do not want a deal to fall through so close to closing, and will work with you to arrive at an agreement. Again, a great real estate lawyer comes in very handy in these situations!
Other than the tips above, make sure you have (more than) enough money at the ready to avoid payment issues. And consider buying title insurance to protect you in case anything happens before the transfer of title is complete.