So you signed a contract for your new home, but there’s still some work ahead. Fortunately, with the help of Conna O’Donovan Real Estate, you won’t be lost without a guide during one of the most strenuous periods of the process. The term between signing and closing involves many tasks that must be handled carefully, so for your convenience, we compiled a list of steps to expect. Check out the information below to learn more, and if you have any further questions, contact us at Conna O’Donovan Real Estate – we are happy to help!

Buyer’s Contract to Close Checklist

The step by step procedure between signing and contract and closing on a new home

1. Finalize Your Mortgage

If the you are borrowing to purchase you home, the contract will include a financial contingency period, which stipulates a set amount of time within which you must secure a loan to purchase the property. Because of this time limit, it is important to handle all matters with your Lender with a high priority to ensure loan approval quickly before closing. To learn more about financing a home, check out our page: Financing a Pensacola Home.

2. Schedule a Home Inspection

Before closing on the deal, it is important to know exactly what you are buying and determine the quality of investment. We at Conna O’Donovan Real Estate recommend scheduling your Home Inspection soon after signing to give time to address any issues that may be found through renegotiation, or if it’s really bad, to back out of the deal altogether. Continue to our page on Home Inspections to learn more about what is examined and what you can do if issues are found.

3. Order an Appraisal

In order to finalize the mortgage, your bank or lender will require an appraisal by a third party to verify the value of the property. The appraisal determines the validity of the seller’s asking price, and depending on the outcome, can require renegotiation of the contract to give you ample time to go back to the table. Thus, it is important to get this done as early as possible. Appraisal costs are usually included in the closing costs.

4. Perform a Title Search

During contract negotiations, you selected a title company who you would trust to research the property and confirm that there are no issues regarding outstanding mortgages, unpaid taxes, or any other restrictions. Our staff at Conna O’Donovan Real Estate will notify this company to begin the process soon after signing. We suggest this occur at least three weeks before closing, and will be responsible for handling any requirements that it may present.

5. Hire Movers

Midway through the closing process, we like to recommend our clients schedule a mover for the move-in date. Schedule them about 2-3 weeks in advance, and begin packing your things at the same time. Not sure who to call? Look at our Preferred Vendors page to find companies our previous clients trust and recommend.

6. Shop for Homeowner’s Insurance

Another requirement for the lender process, getting quotes for homeowner’s insurance can take time. We recommend compiling quotes from various companies beginning at least two weeks before closing, and think it’s a good idea to compare quotes before committing to any one policy. Flood Insurance is usually separate, so don’t forget to read the fine print and be sure you have all the coverage you need.

7. Secure a Home Warranty

Though all contracts are different, they usually include a specified amount the seller is willing to spend for a home warranty, and the buyer then selects one within that price range. Covering all major appliances and mechanical systems, including HVAC, plumbing, dishwasher, and oven, the Home Warranty is a an important part of ensuring your protection during the home buying process. Ask your Conna O’Donovan Real Estate Agent for more information.

8. Schedule your Closing

Though the date is already set, about 10 days before the sale is final we at Conna O’Donovan Real Estate like to set a time for closing. This meeting is often held at the title or mortgage company’s office, and can take over an hour to complete.

9. Organize Final Walk-Through

Scheduled at least a week in advance, the final walk-through usually occurs a day or two before closing, and is your last chance to confirm that the seller fulfilled all the agreements outlined in the contract. Use this opportunity to resolve any overlooked issues with the home.

10. Plan your Moving Day

As the final day nears, don’t forget to plan your moving day to ensure it all goes smoothly. Other important things to remember: Change your mailing address and transfer the utilities to your name. Refer to our New Homeowner’s Checklist to be sure you don’t overlook any other important steps to the move.

11. Obtain Certified Checks

The final closing costs are paid to the title company and seller using a certified bank or cashier’s check. Make sure you have them ready with the correct amounts for the day of closing!

12. Close on your new home!

Finally, the day is here! On Closing Day, the final papers are signed and once the funds are transferred, you are the owner of your new home! Important things to remember are (1) Photo ID, (2) Certified Checks, (3) Copy of Homeowner’s Insurance, and (4) All Important Documents. Once all parties complete the closing process, you will receive keys to the property and the process is complete. Congratulations!