Few things are more exciting in life than closing on your very first home. That’s when all your hard work—from saving up for a down payment to finding the perfect home and navigating the loan process—pays off big time.

Closing is the final chapter in your homebuying story, where ownership of the property is officially transferred from the seller to you. It’s a monumental milestone. However, properly navigating the final steps leading to the closing table is crucial to ensure a smooth transition into homeownership.

As you prepare for your closing date, here are a few things you need to focus on.

Don’t Make Major Changes

 While you wait for your closing date, your lender will update your credit and check your employment status one more time. The lender wants to make sure you haven’t taken out any other loans, increased credit card balances, or switched jobs to ensure you still qualify for your loan. Changes in your financial profile or job status could cause your loan to be denied or delayed, depending on the type of loan you have. Be sure to reach out to your loan officer immediately If something does change.

Review Closing Disclosures

Before your closing appointment, your lender is required to send you a Closing Disclosure form that outlines the terms of your loan, the closing costs, and the details of who pays and receives funds at closing. The Closing Disclosure is similar to the Loan Estimate you received after applying for your mortgage.

You should receive your Closing Disclosure at least three days before your closing, so you have time to review it and make sure everything matches what you expected. Read it over very carefully. If there are significant discrepancies between your Loan Estimate and the final terms for your loan, ask your lender to explain them.

Schedule a Final Walkthrough

The final walkthrough of the home you’re purchasing is your last chance to ensure the property is in the agreed-upon condition before taking ownership. Typically, your real estate agent will coordinate the scheduling of the walkthrough, ideally 24 hours before your closing appointment.

During the walkthrough, make sure that any repairs that were agreed upon have been completed and that the house is clean and ready for you to move in. If anything seems amiss, let your agent know right away.

How to Pay Closing Funds

On the date of your closing appointment, you will need to bring funds to cover closing costs, which can include your down payment, title fees, attorney fees, and more. These funds typically need to be in the form of a cashier’s check or wired funds. Be sure to confirm the total amount needed with your closing agent as well as the preferred method of payment well in advance of your appointment to avoid any last-minute hiccups.

What to Bring to the Closing

On closing day, make sure to bring your ID, proof of insurance, and any other documents your closing agent has requested. It’s also a good idea to have your Closing Disclosure handy for reference and your checkbook for any unforeseen, minor last-minute expenses.

Ask Plenty of Questions

The actual closing process involves signing a stack of legal documents, some of which are for the lender and others for your local county to record the new property owner. It’s usually quite a bit of paperwork. However, try to resist the urge to sign everything as quickly as possible. These documents encompass the terms of your mortgage, your ownership rights, and your responsibilities as a homeowner, so understanding them is important.

If something is unclear, or doesn’t make sense, don’t hesitate to speak up. Typically, your closing agent or loan officer will be there to explain each document and guide you through your appointment.

By being well-prepared and knowing what to expect, you can ensure that your closing day goes as smoothly as possible, so you can start enjoying the next chapter of your life as a homeowner.

If you want to know more about preparing for your closing date, our loan experts at Right By You are ready to help. Find a local loan officer near you or email us at inquqiries@rightbyyoumortgage.com to get started.