What to Do When Your Closing Goes Wrong

When you’re buying a home, you want the whole process to go smoothly. You don’t want any surprises along the way, and you definitely don’t want to lose the house.

Just follow these tips if any of the following happens during your closing process, and everything should turn out well.

1.You find errors in the closing documents.

Your paperwork must be in perfect order before you sign, because once you do, you are legally bound by the contents. Carefully read through all closing documents to avoid misspelled names, transposed numbers, incorrect loan amounts, and to make sure all the pages are there. You should also request to see all the paperwork before closing day and make sure you understand everything before you sign.

2.Your payment doesn’t arrive on time.

You must arrange with your bank to have the down payment transferred to the closing agent. Since personal checks are not accepted, you must ensure the bank makes the payment on time or find a certified or cashier’s check to transfer the money. To avoid making a late payment, plan ahead. Have the bank send the money a few days ahead of time, even if you don’t yet know the exact amount needed. You can request a refund afterward.

3.The loan documents get lost in the mail.

This may sound like a corny excuse, but it can happen. Even more likely, your documents may arrive later than you intended, even if you order a rushed delivery. To avoid this problem, gather all your paperwork ahead of time. Make sure all the parties involved in the sale have everything they need, like tax returns, bank statements, appraiser’s reports, and so forth. Make sure everything is ready before closing day so you don’t experience any delays.

4.There’s a problem with the title.

Problems can always arise from the seller’s end, as well. Say the seller has a lien on the property and it can’t be sold until it’s resolved. Or maybe a relative claims the house is their inheritance. To avoid surprises like this, be sure to study the title report after you open escrow. You can arrange to get your own copy. And after closing, you can buy title insurance to protect yourself from future disputes.

5.You find a problem with the house.

During your final walk through, you may discover things you didn’t see when you initially looked at the house. The seller may have damaged the house while moving out, or left belongings for you to dispose of. You should have your agent work with the seller’s agent to resolve problems like these. You can negotiate for the seller to pay more at closing or hold an amount from the seller’s proceeds in escrow until the problems are fixed. Be sure to do this before closing, even if you have to postpone to fix it.

Don’t let last-minute blunders affect your closing. Stay informed and prepared and use your agent to keep everything running smoothly.