Your closing day is approaching! The process of buying a home is lengthy, so when closing day finally arrives, it feels like a huge relief. However, you’re not quite done clearing the final hurdles. It’s important to be prepared for closing day, which means understanding what is expected of you before and on the big day. Here’s what you need to do in the final lead-up to buying a new home.
Review your contract
Buying a home is probably the biggest expense you will take on in your lifetime. You don’t want to complete the purchase without being absolutely certain you understand the terms and conditions of your purchase contract. Your contract has everything you need to know about the purchase of the home, like purchase price, closing and possession dates, any conditions, and the deposit amount you paid. It’s important to review these items because if any of them are incorrect, you will of course want them corrected before the sale closes. Plus, you also need to understand the terms of the purchase agreement so you’re not walking into closing day with only some of the knowledge you need to complete the sale!
Do your final walk-through
Some time has passed since you put the offer in on your new property and now, before closing day. In that time, it’s possible the condition of the home has changed for the worse. Bad luck happens, whether that’s a flood, fire, or even a tree landing on the home and damaging the roof. Maybe the current owners caused damage to the home, perhaps to the walls or floors. This isn’t to sound gloomy, but to prepare you for the fact that the housing condition may have changed. It’s important to be aware of this before closing day. All that in mind, performing one last walk-through of the home right before closing day means you can ensure the home is in the same condition it was when you put your offer in. If for whatever reason the home has suffered damages, you can negotiate paying for repairs with the seller. You don’t want to close on the home only to find out the roof is leaking! At that point, it’s your cost to cover.
Meet with your lawyer
Real estate can be a complicated process, which is why we have real estate lawyers in the first place! You should make sure you’re taking advantage of your lawyer’s services. A few days before closing, meet with your lawyer to review your documents and sign your statement of adjustments. This document outlines the closing costs you will owe, like land transfer tax and legal fees. Signing everything you can ahead of time will save time on the actual day when buying a home. You can also hand your lawyer your bank draft so they have everything they need. Make sure you contact your lawyer ahead of time in case they are busy or there are errors in your documents that need fixing.
Confirm your down payment & closing costs
Your down payment and closing cost funds must be proven to be legitimate and not from a source of money laundering, so lenders usually require proof showing your down payment the funds making its way into your bank account over time. While your down payment can come as a gift, from your savings, or from your RRSP account, lenders need to know where it’s coming from. This might mean you need to show lenders proof of transfer if the down payment is a gift, for example. And obviously, you should check to ensure the money is fully present in your account!
Ensure your finances are in order
Finally, you must make sure you have the finances to cover not just your down payment, but the closing costs that come with buying a home. We briefly discussed legal fees and land transfer tax above, which are two costs you will have to prepare for. However, there’s also moving costs, utilities, property tax, and insurance. All of these items are things you need to prepare for ahead of time. While your deposit and down payment were the biggest financial hurdles, you should also double check to ensure you have budgeted and saved up for these other costs you will encounter on closing day and beyond. Your broker can help you understand how much these things may cost for your particular purchase, so you will have an idea of the expenses.
Closing day means you have reached the peak of buying a home. After that, you will be dealing with the experience of owning a home! With this last hurdle to clear before the property is officially yours, it’s important to prepare as best as you can to ensure the transaction goes smoothly. Working closely with your lawyer, real estate agent, and mortgage broker will help you get ready for closing day with confidence, so you can take your new house keys and begin your journey as a homeowner.
If you have questions about your mortgage, get in touch with me!