Take a check
Another reason to review the loan documents in advance is so you know how much exactly you will need to bring to closing. And yes, you will need a check at closing, most likely certified.
It sounds obvious, but many buyers are so anxious and excited, they forget they need to stop at the bank to get the check.
Using a wire transfer is an option, but it may delay the closing, says Rafael Castellanos, a managing partner at Expert Title Insurance Agency in New York City.
"Some people think a wire transfer is faster, but the closing won't happen until they have actual confirmation that the wire hit," says Castellanos. "Depending on the time the transfer was made, it could be a huge problem."
The buyer must also bring a photo ID and copies of the homeowners insurance policy, as well as the GFE form or the HUD-1 statement (or both, in case there are discrepancies).
Take the day off
A smooth closing may take less than 30 minutes. You won't know for sure if your closing will go as planned until it's done.
"There may be delays, especially if you are closing at the end of the month," says Rob Nunziata, president of FBC Mortgage, based in Orlando, Fla. "Sometimes, people have to sit there for hours and say, 'I've got to get back to work.'"
Trying to close during your lunch break is a bad idea, Castellanos says.
"Imagine you get these delays, and you are on your lunch hour," Castellanos says. "Now you're hungry, you're frustrated and you're late. That's a pretty bad combination."
Expect the unexpected -- including typos
You're at the closing table. You're told everything is good to go. All you need to do is sign.
You must double-check the numbers on the mortgage note you are signing, even if you have been given the HUD-1 form prior to closing.
"One ofthe biggest holdups in closing is when the mortgage documents are incorrect," Castellanos says. "Sometimes you have to correct the interest rate, or the amount is wrong, and you need to fix it."
Because of a simple typo, your loan documents may need to be sent back to the lender to be redone.
To prepare for these unexpected delays, borrowers should try to schedule their closings for earlier in the day. And don't wait until the last day on the contract to close.
"You shouldn't get to that line, especially when you are buying a foreclosure or short sale," Richardson says.