Final Walk-Through Inspection and Closing
Final walk-through inspection and closing
Homebuyers should plan to make a final walk-through inspection of their new home prior to closing, and after the sellers have moved, in order to assure the condition of the property is as it was on the day you signed your purchase contract. You should take an early walk-through to check repairs agreed to by the seller, but this early inspection does not replace your final walk-through on closing day.
Plan to verify that requested repairs have been made as soon as the seller notifies you they are complete. Do not put off this inspection, because if problems still exist, you will need time to get them corrected before closing. If possible, the home inspector who discovered that repairs were necessary and your REALTOR® should accompany you to verify that repairs have been made properly.
Be sure that:
- Repairs you have requested have been made. Obtain copies of paid bills and any related warranties.
- All items that were included in the sale price – draperies, lighting fixture – are still there.
- Screen and storm windows are in place or stored.
- All appliances are operating.
- Intercom, doorbell and alarm are operational.
- Hot water heater is working.
- HVAC is working.
- No plants or shrubs have been removed from the yard.
- Garage door opener and other remotes are available.
- Instruction books and warranties on appliances and fixtures are there.
- All personal items of the sellers and all debris have been removed.
- No damage has occurred during the move.
If the condition of the home has changed since your offer to purchase it, you are in a better position to get the problems handled when you bring them to everyone’s attention before the deed changes hands. If necessary, repair or replacement funds can be negotiated, deposited into an attorney’s trust fund, and then drawn on to bring the home back to the shape it was in on your contract date. It is usually best to hold back an amount that exceeds the estimate for making repairs.
Typical pre-paid expense and closing costs
There may be closing costs customary or unique to a certain locality, but closing costs are usually made up of the following:
- Attorney's or escrow fees (Yours and your lender's if applicable)
- Property taxes (to cover tax period to date)
- Interest (paid from date of closing to 30 days before first monthly payment)
- Loan origination fee (covers lenders administrative cost)
- Recording fees
- Survey fee
- First premium of mortgage insurance (if applicable)
- Title insurance (yours and the lender's)
- Loan discount points
- First payment to escrow account for future real estate taxes and insurance
- Paid receipt for homeowner's insurance policy (and fire and flood insurance if applicable)
- Any documentation preparation fees
- Appraisal fee
- Credit report fee
Items the buyer will receive at closing
- Settlement Statement, HUD-1 Form is given at or before closing if live closing and within 48 hours after closing in an escrow state. If you want a copy prior to closing for review, you must request it from the closing agent.
- Copy of Truth-in-Lending Statement
- Copy of mortgage note
- Keys to your new home
Source: The Federal Housing Administration
Those around the closing table typically include the sellers, the buyers, attorneys for buyers and sellers, a title company representative, the sellers’ and buyers’ real estate agents and the closing representative from the lender or title company.
The closing agent will have a stack of papers for you and the seller to sign. While they will give you a basic explanation of each, you may want to take the time to read each one and/or consult your agent to make sure that you know exactly what you are signing. In Mississippi, attorneys conduct real estate closings. Conveyance is by warranty deed, and deeds of trust are the customary security instruments.
Before you go to closing, your lender is required to give you a booklet explaining the closing costs, and a good faith estimate of how much cash you will have to supply at closing, and a list of documents you will need at closing. If you do not get those items, be sure to call your lender BEFORE you go to closing.
Do not hesitate to ask questions.
Portions of this article reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the National Association of REALTORS®. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.