Closing Process

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Things To Do Before Closing

Appraisal: The buyer (or the lender) hires an appraiser who visits the home and reviews recent selling process of similar homes in the area (comparable sales). If there are no comparable sales in the immediate area, the appraiser will look at other areas having similar home sales.

Inspection: The buyer hires an experienced inspector who will evaluate the property to determine any problems (structural and cosmetic) that can change the home’s value. The inspection helps the buyer determine items the seller must repair before the final contract is signed.

The inspector will check the home for:

  • General condition
  • Electrical system
  • Heating and cooling system
  • Exterior structure, water damage, garage doors, roof and chimney, retaining walls, exterior storm water drainage
  • Interior structure, insulation, foundation, windows, and doors
  • Pest control
  • Earthquake and landslide risk
  • The inspector fee is paid for by the buyer either at the time of the inspection, or at closing
  • Oklahoma requires a termite inspection

Title Insurance

Once an offer has been approved, a title search is conducted. The search is conducted by a licensed Title Company. This step is needed to uncover possible problems with the title on the property.

**A “clear title” to real property is legal ownership.

Possible title problems:

  • Dispute by outside parties relating directly to ownership of the property
  • Dispute as to the size of the property
  • Dispute as to the use of the property
  • Dispute because of unknown heirs, a secret spouse or faulty land survey

*The insurance guarantees the property is as stated in recorded deeds, surveys, and other documents. The payment for title insurance is a one-time payment and is paid at closing by the Buyer. The vast majority of mortgages require title insurance.

Homeowner’s Warranty

In addition to a home inspector’s report and title insurance, the Buyer can protect himself with Homeowner’s Warranty.

When making the offer, the Buyer should include a clause which states the Seller must provide a limited time warranty which covers repair to the structure, mechanical systems, and major appliances. If the warranty clause is accepted by the Seller, the clause becomes an intercultural part of the offer. The Buyer can purchase his own homeowner’s warranty. A homeowner’s warranty is useful when:

  • Buyer an older home
  • The home has been vacant for a long period of time
  • The home has not been lived in by the Seller, i.e., the home is part of an estate and is being sold by heirs, or the home was investment property (rented property), and therefore the Sellers have no knowledge of, and are unable to make disclosure of, potential problems

Final Steps to Closing

Three days before closing the mortgage company will provide the Buyer with a Settlement Statement, describing where all the loan funds will be dispersed. As of October 3, 2015, the real estate agent will not be provided a copy of this statement unless the Buyer has agreed to this and informed the mortgage company of such.

Closing costs and down payment are paid by a certified cashier’s check, provided by the Buyer.

Two or three days before closing the Buyer should do a “walk through” of the property to make sure all agreed repairs have been made, and no items from the Buyer’s Agreement have been changed or removed from the house.

tmcqueen@mainedge.com
Call Terri (405) 250-9343