Steps to a successful closing of Your Home in Louisville, KY

OK, now you are "under contract".  This means that you and the Seller have reached an agreement on the price you will pay, terms like closing date, whether Sellers will pay any of your closing costs, etc.

Does that mean that it's a guaranteed success?  Absolutely not!  If you have selected the right agent, your representative will carefully guide and advise you through the "contract to close" process -- so hire us if you want to be sure!  Here are a few things to think about (as if moving and others weren't enough!):

Pre-Approval

Most good Realtors won't write an offer or accept an offer unless you have a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender. As we have mentioned elsewhere, this pre-approval will give you confidence that your credit report is "clean", provide a level of certainty about your payment, etc.  It's a good idea to talk to a lender early -- even months before you start to look.  You may have forgotten that you didn't return your cable modem or not know that a medical bill was sent to you old address, but the credit bureaus won't forget!  You also need an estimate of your closing costs and will want to know how much money you will need for your down payment before you write an offer.

New Credit

Your lender has "pre-approved" you based upon your "passing" several tests, and one of those is your ratio of total debt to gross income.  Depending upon the type of loan you have agreed to, this ratio can usually be as high as about 45%, under current standards.  However, don't open any new lines of credit, buy a new car, or even do a "six months same as cash" at Best Buy without consulting your lender!  Any new debt you take on can change your ratios.  This may result in the lender being unable to make the loan you are counting on, or at best it can delay your closing while the lender re-evaluates your loan.  Whatever you intend to buy can probably wait until after closing.  Or, if you must have something for which you will need credit, check with your lender FIRST!

Home Inspections

 Let's define a good working relationship between a Realtor and a Home Inspector. 1) No money changes hands between Realtors and Inspectors. 2) Good Realtors are very skeptical about inspectors who also work in the field where they inspect.  We would prefer to hire inspectors who CANNOT benefit in any way if a problem is discovered, and are 100% objective, 3) A good Realtor must trust that a home inspector will find any and all defects in the home or property, and outline them clearly in the inspection report. Good Realtors want the inspector to protect their mutual client, the Buyer.  We know that if the inspectors is looking out for the Buyer, our client is receiving good service.  The inspector should never conceal a defect to protect the "deal", and the good ones would never consider doing so. 4) An excellent inspector will be happy to clarify comments made on the inspection report, and give additional opinions to help the parties obtain accurate estimates for repairs. 5) The inspection report much contain photos of defects discovered, and be presented in a logical way.  It's unacceptable today for an inspector to use an old-style "check list" report -- we need details, and pictures!

Repair Negotiations

If there is any point where a Realtor is critical, this is it.  Buyers don't want to purchase a home they consider "defective", and Sellers usually don't consider that their homes are.  Good Realtors can state repair requests in a way that does not insult Sellers or under-serve Buyers -- the goal being to reach an acceptable solution to any problems.  The worst concens often occur when the Seller has been in the home for many, many years, and considers the home "fine".

The Walk-Through

Most real estate contracts state that the home must be transferred to the new owner in the same condition that it was when the offer was written and accepted -- or better.  You want to do a walk-through about three days before closing, to ensure that everything is OK and all required repairs have been made.  If you're not sure you can tell, hire your home inspector to come back and review those items that you asked to be repaired.  If you do the walk-through too close to closing, you won't have time to react to any problems discovered.

The Closing Statement

The federal government requires that all real estate closings be documented on a standard form known as a "HUD-1", or simply "the HUD".  The accounting behind a real estate closing can be somewhat complex, so it's critical that ALL involved parties have seen and agreed to the numbers on the HUD BEFORE closing.  To most Buyers and Sellers, this is "big money".  Any discrepancies or problems with the financial terms should be discovered and worked out before the closing date.  We tell our clients that the closing is for signing over the property and getting the keys -- there should be NO surprises or discussions at that point!

Bottom Line

Working with a good agent and Real Estate company will guarantee that you have proper representation and an advocate who will both guide and educate you through the home-buying process.  Call or contact us if you want to discuss our services!

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