How to Handle a Last-Minute Closing Crisis

Crisis: Misplaced loan documents

Sending your loan package overnight by express mail is not guaranteed to reach the seller’s agent on time. That’s why you and your realtor should stay in constant communication with the seller’s agent to make sure they have all the documents they need before your closing appointment. Call beforehand to confirm that all paperwork is ready to sign.

Crisis: Can’t access the down payment

When you open a new credit account, charge up an existing one, or get an auto loan, chances are it will delay or even cancel the closing. If you contact your bank the day before closing to have your down payments transferred to the seller’s agent, there’s always the potential for something to go wrong. A simple error with the bank could cause the transfer to be delayed, or arrive short.

To avoid this happening, you can bring the down payment to the closing as a cashier’s check or certified check, as personal checks are almost never accepted. Another option is to think ahead and have the money transferred several days in advance to the closing agent.

Crisis: Paperwork errors

Since there’s so much room for errors—as minimal as a misspelled name, or as problematic as a missing page—it’s extremely important for you to ask to see every document you’ll be signing before your closing appointment. Double-check all of your personal information and make sure the numbers are accurate, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Crisis: Walk-through nightmare

The last thing you need to find after buying a home is that the seller left the place an absolute disaster: wall damage, trash, or ripped-out fixtures. When this happens, you need to act fast. Your real estate agent can work with the seller’s agent to resolve these issues, by assessing how much it might cost to repair the damage and how the seller will pay for this.

There are several ways to find a solution, such as negotiating a credit on your closing fees, or having the repair costs taken from the seller’s proceeds and placed in escrow. And always, always do a final walk-through before you agree on finalizing the deal, even if you have to insist.

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