Taking your final walkthrough
Time: 1-2 hours
A day or two before closing, you'll conduct a final walkthrough. During this visit to the property, you'll want to make sure that any agreed-upon repairs have been completed and that all of the seller's belongings have been removed from the property.
Around the same time, your lender will likely give you your closing disclosure. This document outlines the final costs and terms of your loan. As long as everything looks good on both fronts, you'll sign off on a document for each of these procedures and prepare to go to closing.
Going to closing
Time: 2-3 hours (but the entire closing process takes about six weeks)
On closing day, you'll sign your final documents and bring a cashier's check in the amount listed on your closing disclosure statement. After closing, the escrow agent will distribute the funds to the appropriate parties.
Tips to help keep your closing on track
Even though most of what happens during your closing timeline will be out of your control, there are things you can do to help keep your closing moving forward smoothly. With that in mind, read over the tips below to be prepared for each step of the closing process.
Keep track of important deadlines
Following all of the deadlines listed in your contract is a crucial part of any real estate closing. Essentially, that's what keeps the transaction moving forward without issue. Unfortunately, if you miss a deadline, you'll technically be in breach of contract, and at that point, the seller would be entitled to take your deposit money if the contract falls apart.
Your best bet once your purchase agreement has been signed is to read through the agreement and to mark any important dates on the calendar. That way, you can be sure to stay aware of any important dates.
Listen to your team of experts
During the course of your transaction, your lender and real estate agent will likely be giving you lots of advice. For example, most lenders will recommend against making any big purchases, like buying new furniture, during the underwriting process. In order to keep the closing process moving smoothly, listen to the advice from your team of experts. Their industry knowledge is, after all, why you hired them in the first place.
Respond in a timely manner
Lastly, do your best to respond to any requests from your buyer's agent or mortgage lender in a timely manner. As you saw above in the house-closing timeline, a real estate transaction has several moving parts, and if one gets held up, it could spell bad news for your closing. With that in mind, do your best to make sure to respond to any requests as quickly as you can.
The bottom line
The homebuying process takes about six weeks to complete from the time the seller accepts the buyer's offer to the time everyone sits down at the closing table. To say that there's a lot to do in those few weeks is an understatement. With that in mind, make sure to educate yourself on the house-closing timeline above and keep it in mind as you move forward with your real estate transaction.