Things To Do Before and After Closing on a House
August 23, 2021
Congratulations on making it to closing day! This is a huge accomplishment and the final step in what has likely been a long journey. The closing process is the last and most important part of the home buying process. It’s when the home officially becomes yours, all necessary paperwork is completed, and the mortgage loan for the new home is finalized.
However, it’s not time to sit back and relax yet. Now that you’re getting ready to finish your home purchase, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. And after the closing is complete, there are a few things you should do as well to make the transition into your new home smooth. Here’s a look at the four things to do before closing on a house and after.
4 Things to Do Before Closing on a House
On the days leading up to your closing, nerves will likely be running high. You’re about to make one of the biggest purchases of your life, after all. But as long as you’ve done your research, you’ve found the right home, and you’re financing is in order, there’s no reason to stress. There are, however, things to do before closing on a house that you can do to help the process go as smoothly as possible and ease your mind.
1. Book The Movers Well In Advance
It’s important that you plan your move as soon as you have a closing date in hand. Searching for a dependable moving company can take a while, and you don’t want to take a wild guess at it. After all, you want a reliable mover to transport your belongings to your new home.
Even if you are planning to do the transportation on your own, make sure to get the rental truck booked well in advance. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you have to beg your friends or relatives for help at the last moment.
2. Change The Locks
The second important thing that you ought to do once the closing date is finalized, is to book a locksmith appointment as close to the closing date as possible.
Copies of your home keys might have been distributed to several people, including the seller’s agent, the painter, the contractor who did the repair work, the stager, and so on. To eliminate the risk of an unwanted situation, get the locks changed before you move into the house.
3. Set Up The Utilities
When you move into a new home, you need to set up basic home utilities like gas, electricity, water, internet, cable TV, and sewer to name the major ones. That’s because there’s a high probability that the previous home owner canceled all utilities them as soon as their contingencies were removed.
You can talk to your real estate agent to get a list of service providers in the area or you can also ask the previous homeowner.
It can take a few days for the service provider to process the service request. Therefore, it is always a good idea to contact the service provider at least a week before you intend to move in.
4. 24hr Walk-Through Before Closing
Most important of all, do take a walk-through of the property before at least 24-hours of the final house closing process to check the condition of the home.
Use it as an opportunity to double-check if the home is in a condition promised to you in the contract and if the problems found during the home inspection have been taken care of.
What To Do After Closing on a House
Now that you’ve made it through closing day, you are now a new homeowner. Although your work is not done just yet. Moving into a new home means that your main address has changed and you will need to take care of a few things to ensure a smooth transition. Here are the four things you should do after closing on a house.
1. Store Copies of the Closing Documents
As we all know, real estate closings involves a lot of paperwork but closing the deal doesn’t mean that you are done with the paperwork. You are going to need these closing papers in the future whenever you plan to add onto your property.
For instance, if you plan to add a fence to your property in the future, the municipality will ask for the survey map.
A survey map, also referred to as a Property Map, is a detailed ALTA (America Land and Title Association)/NSPS (National Society of Professional Surveyors) Land Title Survey containing information about the property. It includes details like property ownership, rights to use the property, as well as the limitations to use the property.
You need to make copies of all of the important documents and keep them in a completely secure place like a safe deposit box.
2. Hire A Professional Cleaning Crew
Don’t expect the seller to clean the home thoroughly. Moving into a house is a lot of work and the last thing any new homeowners want is to discover that they have to delay moving in to clean the house.
Hiring a professional cleaning crew to clean the house before moving in will ensure that your house is in perfect moving in condition.
3. Change Your Address Information
Now that you have a new place to call home, don’t forget to update important places and institutions about your new address. Here are a few things to check in with about your new house.
- Insurance Company
- Tax agencies
- Utility companies
- Post office
- DMV (For Driver’s License)
- Credit cards
- Friends and family members
The laws can vary by state but most make it legally required to update your license with a new house in 30 to 60 days.
4. Create A House Maintenance List
When you are living in a rental home, you don’t have to worry about home maintenance. This scenario, however, changes as soon as you become a homeowner.
It’s important that you create a list of home maintenance activities and start doing them. Regular maintenance ensures that you don’t have to worry about any untimely expenses and repairs.
This will include things like servicing the HVAC system, electronic equipment, water heater, and so on. A home inspector should have provided a home inspection report that tells you about any major issues and what you should be concerned about in the new property.
Final Thoughts on The Closing Process
It’s an amazing feeling to finally close on a home, and prepare to move into a place you can call your own. However, as you can see a lot of planning and work still needs to be done before and after as you take the final steps to closing on a house. The key to making the entire process hassle-free is to always think things ahead.
If you have found your dream home, and are inching closer to finalizing the real estate transaction, then you should know what to expect on closing day. Fees like the down payment, closing costs, and homeowners insurance and earnest money deposits can make closing on a house expensive. Check out this blog post about all of the costs associated with buying a home to learn more.
How To Find and Work With a Good Real Estate Agent
The home buying process requires a lot of research and beyond that, it is a significant investment.
There are costly mistakes that you’ll want to avoid and best practices to follow, which is why working with a good real estate agent is important.
A good agent will help you make the best decisions throughout the home buying process and can save you time, money, and a lot of headaches. However, not all agents are good at what they do.
The Negotiators are a new type of real estate organization that streamlines your search for a high-quality real estate agent, otherwise known as a Negotiator. Negotiators have all proven themselves to be top performers in their local real estate markets and are leading experts when it comes to buying or selling a house.
Search here to find out if a Negotiator is local to you.