Kathy Henne: Smooth sailing

As a buyer, you want your offer to be accepted and your contract to close on schedule. However, in today’s climate, you should expect some negotiation, and submit your offer with the following advice in mind.

You pre-qualification letter from your lender will state your loan total and anticipated interest rate. Strongly consider locking in that rate with the lender, as rates are still very low, and you’ll avoid any future fluctuations in the market.

Reserve funds now for your settlement costs at closing. Anticipate anywhere from 2 percent to 6 percent of the amount you’re financing, plus your down payment less any earnest money you offered as a deposit, which may be required to be in the form of a certified check.

If your down payment funds are not in an immediately liquid account, keep things on track by moving the funds into your checking or savings account at least 10 days before closing, so you’re sure that you’ll be able to access the money in advance of the closing date.

Finally, try to avoid a closing date at the end of the month or the end of the year, as these are the busiest times for lenders and could cause undue delay in meeting your approval deadline for financing. Speak with your agent about other factors in crafting your offer and successfully closing on schedule.