Buy It, Don’t Blow It

You have found your dream house and the sellers have accepted your offer. It may seem like blue skies with nothing to do but pack and wait for the keys to the front door. However, be aware that there are still pitfalls to avoid so you don’t blow the deal before your closing date.

Be diligent about keeping your financial situation stable. It used to be that your credit history was reviewed only before you received approval for your loan. Nowadays underwriters check again just a couple of days before closing to make sure that you haven’t accrued any new debts or credit problems.

Your credit score played a significant part in securing your mortgage loan, so don’t do anything to jeopardize your score during the weeks before closing. Don’t apply for new lines of credit or deplete your cash reserves for other big purchases, such as a car or new furniture. Be up-to-date with your monthly bill payments as well. Anything that can make your credit score drop could send red flag to your lender. You don’t want to give them any reason to rethink your loan.

There will be a lot of paperwork involved in finalizing your loan and accidental errors are always a possibility. Be very prompt with any requests from your lender for additional documents. Incorrect or missing documents will cause delays in your closing or even halt it completely.

Home inspections will be done prior to closing. You want a thorough inspection that will uncover significant problems with the property. This is not an opportunity to nitpick every flaw and make unreasonable demands from the seller. Inspections are made for your protection as the buyer. Faulty wiring or termite damage are problems that likely need to be addressed before the sale is complete. However, quibbling over small flaws in the paint or a chipped sink or similar cosmetic problems may just aggravate the sellers without any benefit to you. Keep in mind that you may require some accommodation from the sellers before signing the final paperwork. For example, you might need some extra time before closing and want to move the date back a couple of days. This happens frequently. The sellers may be less willing to cooperate if you have turned inspection results into an unpleasant confrontation.

Finally, once your offer has been accepted and your closing has been scheduled, stop looking at other homes for sale. Yes, it is tempting to keep checking on what else has come on the market. But you might end up with a raging case of premature buyer’s remorse. Don’t worry that another house is better than the one you chose. You loved the house when you made the offer and you have a legally binding contract with earnest money paid toward that purchase. Now is the time to make plans for your new house: choose paint colors, make furniture placement diagrams and let the kids decide which bedrooms they want. Be patient and pack. Moving day will come before you know it.