So, you've gone through the steps and the process is moving along.
BUYERS: You've searched around town. You've found the house you want to purchase. You've applied for your mortgage. You've submitted an offer and it's been accepted by the seller. Congratulations you have a ratified contract!
SELLERS: You've had the sign up in your yard. You've kept your home clean for all the showings by real estate agents and their clients. You've been waiting anxiously. You've countered the buyer's offer and now you've come to an agreement. Congratulations you have a ratified contract!
In either scenario, you're now on the road to a real estate settlement -- that's the big day when everyone signs the papers, the deed is transferred, the seller gets their money, the buyer gets the keys and the house, and it's all official.
So, What to Expect When You're Expecting... a Real Estate Settlement?
Courtesy of The Settlement Group, one of the premiere settlement companies in Northern Virginia, here's a quick guide with some helpful hints for buyers and sellers to make the process leading to settlement go smoothly.
1. Return information request forms to the settlement company promptly. Once the settlement company receives your ratified contract they will send you an information request for basic information such as your name, social security number, marital status, mortgage lender, etc.
2. Notify the settlement company of any special needs (i.e., Power of Attorney, mail-away signing for out of town buyers or sellers, assignment of funds if there is a coinciding settlement)
3. Forward a copy of the lender-issued Good Faith Estimate to the settlement company.
4. Coordinate a settlement date and time with your REALTOR.
5. Provide a copy of the buyer's Hazard Insurance to the lender as soon as possible.
6. Contact the utility companies prior to settlement to transfer service effective the day of settlement.
7. When packing, be sure to keep certain documents readily accessible. (i.e., settlement documents, title policies, lender underwriting requirements)
8. Contact the settlement company 24 hours prior to settlement for the amount of certified funds required to close. Funds must be payable to the settlement company and must be in the form of a certified or cashier's check or bank wire.
9. Bring a valid photo-ID to settlement.
Following these steps will ensure that things go smoothly between contract and closing.
Before you go to settlement, you'll also want to read What to Expect at the Closing Table in Northern Virginia.
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