Kathy Henne: Bring it on home

Buyers and sellers develop a natural sense of excitement as a transaction’s closing date nears. While most aspects should run smoothly, it’s wise to be prepared for unexpected delays. Anticipating potential problems before they develop could save untold time and stress.

One pitfall might be the title search. The title search is simply legal proof of a property’s chain of ownership, but issues such as death, divorce, and liens can cloud the title. You may need an attorney to determine and resolve any problems.

Financing can also present snags. If the buyer’s don’t qualify for a loan, the deal falls through. Buyers should begin their mortgage education well in advance of their home search, and sellers should ask a price in line with the home’s actual value. If the appraisal is lower than the contract price, the seller may be asked to come down to the appraised price. Sometimes the buyer can bring more money to closing.

The best situation for buyers and sellers is to have a loan pre-approval in hand. It starts with the loan officer performing a review of the buyer’s credit, income, assets and liabilities. A letter of pre-approval should indicate exactly how much a home buyer can afford and should put sellers more at ease with the transaction.

The buyers should keep in mind that the lender will do another credit check and verification of employment right before closing. If the buyer has leased or purchased a new vehicle, the closing may be postponed or cancelled. The buyer may not qualify for the monthly expense of the mortgage plus the new vehicle payment. The lender re-verifies employment to make sure the buyer still has a job and will be able to repay the loan.

There are a myriad of aspects to closing the deal, so go over each item thoroughly with your trusted local real estate representative and develop your plan of action!