After all the searching and trips through houses, you and your whole family are excited – all the boxes are packed – and you are ready to move.

Even though you’ve gone through all the steps, there’s just one more – the closing.  Even though you THINK you’re done, something could still go wrong.

Closings are stressful times at best.  Having one go wrong can be a disaster.  Deals can fall apart at the last minute, but you want and need certainty.

You can’t possibly eliminate all the risks, but you can work hard to minimize them as much as possible.   What are some of those, and how can you avoid them?

Here is some advice based on YEARS of experience:

  1. Time to Close – Make sure to set a realistic amount of time when negotiating the contract and especially before scheduling movers and setting the closing and possession date. It’s always wise to leave enough – or even extra – time, not allowing enough time for all the pieces to be completed can be a big problem.
  1. Lender – Some lenders aren’t 100% reliable and may cause a delay. Last minute delays are a nightmare for all parties.

It’s always best to get recommendations from your Realtor / and or peers and be cautious about working with lenders that you have never met, including online lenders.

Even good lenders can cause a deal to blow up if you’ve been careless, like having your financial situation differ from what you put on your application – don’t take on new debt or change jobs without letting them know before you do.

  1. Insurability – Your lender is going to require homeowners insurance. You have to verify the insurability of the home you’re buying. Be sure to get a quote during your inspection period as provided for in the Columbus Realtors contract and avoid and last minute surprises.

Inspection – Asking the seller for expensive and subjective repairs can lead to stress at the closing when your expectations differ.  Get ahead of any potential issues by finalizing an agreement with the buyer BEFORE closing.  Verbal agreements don’t count, especially when there may be a difference between what you THOUGHT was agreed upon and make sure all invoices get paid at the closing.

  1. Appraisal – An appraisal MUST be done before lenders will approve a loan. Don’t wait until the last minute to order one.

This is especially true if there is any question that the house isn’t going to appraise at or above the agreed upon price. Last minute and unanticipated issues will cause friction between buyers and sellers.

Things can and may go wrong in a real estate transaction, but following these tips will greatly reduce the odds and minimize stress.