In Georgia, there’s no sweeter feeling than closing on a home. However, last minute twists seem to come out of nowhere where real estate is involved. From signing refusals, to changes of heart, shifty lenders, to structural anomalies - knowing what to be prepared for at the eleventh hour is crucial to keeping control of the situation.
This list is not meant to dissuade you from buying or selling your home, only to give you perspective on very real possibilities that can arise during closing. Here are the top 11 things that can go wrong at the eleventh hour, and how to avoid them:
Misprints and misspellings in the paperwork can take hours or days to correct. The devil is in the details. Go over all paperwork with clarity before the closing date.
2. Bank Problems
Timing issues with the bank could cause delays in sellers getting their money. Bring an alternate form of payment (like a certified check) to a closing meeting, or transfer closing fees early to avoid this last minute catastrophe.
3. Property Inspections
Failure to inspect the property beforehand can result in surprise damages and structural flaws greater than the buyer can afford. There is nothing worse than buying a dud. Give the property a final walkthrough the day before closing to make sure there aren’t any new structural damages from the seller’s move.
4. Broken Promises
Similarly, a seller may not fully comply with your requests to fix issues you agreed to. Are the issues minor enough that you still want the home despite this, or do you hold your ground and post-pone, or get an attorney involved?
5. Missing Paperwork
Expedite and track the shipping for any documents you may have to send to the closing agent. You do not want to go into a closing meeting with missing documents slowly making their way through the mail. Call your agent the morning of a close to verify they have all the necessary paperwork.
6. Read, Re-read, and Read Again
Read every word in every document before you sign it. You do not want to be stuck with extra fees or miss crucial resale information down the road. Sign documents only when you feel like you understand the terms.
7. Buyer Delays
If a buyer becomes seriously ill, divorced, loses their job, or suddenly passes away, you can expect delays.
8. Falsified Information
If either party provides false information to lenders, expect a long process involving more paperwork and attorneys.
9. Closing Costs
If closing costs cannot be paid due to financial hardship or refusal to pay, then it is back to square one.
10. Breach of Terms & Conditions
A seller may breach the terms and conditions for a sale, or otherwise may not show up to sign paperwork at a closing, either because they are travelling without an attorney-in-fact in place or just due to negligence. Have your closing agent call the seller before closing to getter a better handle on their whereabouts.
11. Unforeseen Circumstances
Natural disasters and unexpected tragedies like floods and house fires have been known to occur before closing.
Despite these unfortunate events, there is nothing that guarantees these bad things will or won’t happen. Get your affairs in order, keep in constant contact with your lender, the buyer, the seller, the agents involved, and inspect the property thoroughly before the final day of the sale. Ask friends or family to help you talk to your realtor and ensure a safe closing.
Are you ready to buy a home? Contact The Atlanta Homes Team to start your real estate search today!