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Closing Time

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Posted On: 09/06/2017

Knowing what to expect from the pile of closing paperwork – and how to be prepared – can make the process go a lot smoother.

For starters, plan to have all your financial ducks in a row well in advance of your closing date, says Jeremy Gulish, a realtor with Keller Williams Towne Square Realty, Morristown, New Jersey.

“With the extensive scrutiny that is now part of mortgage underwriting, I recommend that my clients have everything available to show the underwriter, short of their blood work and urinalysis,” Gulish says.

Depending on state and lender requirements, count on bringing the following forms and documents to the closing:

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• A driver’s license or state-issued

picture ID

• Recent tax returns and pay stubs

• W-2 forms

• The two most recent monthly bank statements of all your financial accounts

• Proof of additional income (alimony, Social Security, rental income, etc.)

• The purchase and sale agreement and any addenda

• A cashier’s check or other “good funds” check for the balance due (the total of which you’ll be notified a day or two prior to closing).

At closing, you’ll be represented by a closer for the lender who will ask you to sign a set of standard federally regulated documents, which you should receive three business days prior to your scheduled closing to review with your attorney.

You’ll also receive a settlement statement showing details of all charges for completing the purchase. Items like property address, loan and payment amounts, dates and names will need to be reviewed carefully. Plan for a long sit-down; most closings last approximately one hour or longer.

“Be prepared to explain any major debits, credit inquiries and financial changes that are reflected in bank accounts,” Gulish says. “It’s also critical that buyers don’t have a career change or major financial debits incurred during the closing process, as their lender may not approve their loan if their financial situation changes.”

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