Closing on a home graphic

Closing on a Home?

Avoid These Costly Mistakes!

Congratulations! You’ve found your dream home in the suburbs, and you’re on the verge of making it officially yours. Closing on a house is like the final lap of your home-buying marathon, and it’s filled with excitement, anticipation, and, let’s face it, a hefty dose of anxiety. You’re about to make one of the most significant financial commitments of your life, and the last thing you want is to stumble over some costly mistakes in these final steps.

As an escrow expert who’s seen it all, I want to guide you through this intricate process with some friendly advice and personal anecdotes to help you navigate this crucial phase with ease. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into how you can avoid some common pitfalls that could turn your closing into a costly affair.

Understanding the Closing Process

What is Closing?

Closing is when the deal is finalized, and you officially become the homeowner. It involves a lot of paperwork, legal formalities, and, importantly, the transfer of funds. You’ll be dealing with real estate agents, lenders, and perhaps an escrow agent like me. Think of it as the grand finale of your home-buying journey.

The Key Players

Imagine a play where everyone has a critical role. You’re the star, of course, but there’s also your real estate agent, the lender, the seller, and possibly a real estate attorney. Each has a part to play in making sure the process goes smoothly.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Not Reviewing the Closing Disclosure

We once had clients, let’s call them Sarah and Tim, who were so excited about closing that they almost skipped thoroughly reviewing their Closing Disclosure. This crucial document outlines your loan terms, fees, and other closing costs. Errors here can be costly. Thankfully, they took my advice, went through it with a fine-tooth comb, and caught a mistake in the loan interest rate. Phew!

Overlooking Escrow Account Details

Your escrow account is like a middleman that holds funds for property taxes and insurance. We’ve seen cases where incorrect calculations led to higher monthly payments for the homeowner. Always double-check these details.

Skipping the Final Walkthrough

Your final walkthrough is your last chance to make sure everything is as it should be. We remember a couple who found out during their walkthrough that the previous owners had taken the custom kitchen cabinets with them! Needless to say, it’s a step you don’t want to miss.

Underestimating Closing Costs

Closing costs can be a real sticker shock if you’re not prepared. They typically range from 2% to 5% of your loan amount. From appraisal fees to title insurance, make sure you budget for these expenses. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised than caught off guard.

Financial Preparations for Closing

Saving for Closing Costs

Start tucking away a little extra as soon as you begin house hunting. These costs can add up quickly, and the more you have saved, the smoother your closing will go.

Securing Homeowners Insurance Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to get homeowners insurance. Your lender will require proof of insurance before closing. Getting this sorted out early can prevent any delays.

Leveraging Professional Help

The Role of a Real Estate Attorney

Consider hiring a real estate attorney, especially if you’re dealing with a complex transaction. They can be your legal eagle, looking out for your interests and making sure everything is buttoned up.

Working with a Trustworthy Escrow Agent

A good escrow agent can be your best friend during closing. They’ll hold all the important documents and funds until everything is ready to be exchanged. Having someone you trust in this role can give you peace of mind.

After Closing: The First Steps as a New Homeowner

Once the keys are in your hand, it’s time to celebrate! But there are also a few practical steps to take, like setting up utilities, changing locks, and familiarizing yourself with your new property tax assessments. These little tasks will help make your new house feel like home.


Closing on a house can be a whirlwind of emotions and paperwork, but it’s also the final step in achieving your dream of homeownership. By being aware of common pitfalls and preparing accordingly, you can navigate this process with confidence. Remember, it’s not just about getting through closing; it’s about starting a new chapter in your life on the right foot.

And remember, whether it’s triple-checking your Closing Disclosure or saving a bit extra for those closing costs, the devil is in the details. But with a little preparation and the right team by your side, you’ll be popping that champagne and turning your new house into a home in no time.  Buying a home is one of life’s most significant milestones, and closing is its climax. If you’re on this journey, take a deep breath, arm yourself with knowledge, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. Your dream home awaits, and with these tips, you’re ready to cross the finish line with grace and confidence. Cheers to new beginnings!