Closing the Deal

April 5, 2012


We have arrived at the final segment of our first-time home buyers series. Last time, we covered the do’s and don’ts of searching for a home. So, now that you’ve found that perfect place, you can make it your own. The following are a few questions and answers to help you be prepared for this final step.

You’re Mine: Closing Q & A’s


What factors should I consider when making my offer?

First of all, ask your agent if there are multiple offers on the property. If so, this means that you are going to have to make a competitive bid to get the home. Maybe you’ll need to bid closer to or at asking price or find another way to make your offer appealing, like a cash down payment. You’ll also want to know what other homes are selling at in the immediate neighborhood. Your agent will be happy to share these figures with you. Finally, you should consider the overall condition of the home, and whether or not any repairs or renovations will be a significant expense. If so, subtract those figures from the price of the home.

Do I really need an inspection?

Yes. You cannot fully judge the condition of a house based on what you see or what the seller shares with you. There may be hidden damage that even the seller is unaware of. So, a few hundred spent on the inspector could save you thousands spent on repairing damages. An inspector will review both the interior and exterior condition of the home to make note of such things as the safety of the electrical system, the structural quality of the foundation, the amount of wear on the roof, and so on.  If there is anything major, your agent can help you estimate the cost of such repairs and help you renegotiate with the seller to settle on a fair price.

What is homeowners’ insurance? Do I need it?

While your state might not force you to buy homeowners’ insurance, it is in your best interest that you do (plus, your mortgage lender is going to require it. So, unless you buy your house with cash, then be prepared to factor this cost into your total.). Policies may vary, but a “standard” one will most likely suffice. You will be protected against damages caused by major disasters but not all (such as floods and earthquakes). If you live in an area that is affected by specific natural disasters, you should make sure your policy includes them.

What happens at the closing?

At a closing, the ownership of the property will officially become yours. A title company will gather documents related to your home’s deed (such as easements, tax assessments, covenants, etc.). If the title report has been approved by buyer and lender, then you will proceed to sign all the related closing paperwork. An escrow account may also be set up if your lender is going to pay your insurance and taxes from this account. Be prepared to pay closing costs at this time as well.

Congrats! You are now well on your way to starting the exciting process of finding and buying a home of your own. We will have more real estate topics in the near future, so please come back and visit us soon!

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About century21affiliatedchicago

Century 21 Affiliated-Chicago (“C21AC”) is a full service real estate brokerage firm located in Chicago with a focus on residential and commercial properties. Our agent base and management team includes a wide range of specialties serving customer needs across the ever changing real estate landscape, with expertise in many niches, including REO transactions, investment sales, bulk purchasers and sellers, commercial product and traditional residential transactions. C21AC is part of Century 21 Affiliated (“Affiliated”), a top 5 franchisee in the Century 21 system with over 30 locations across the Midwest and over 32 years of history. C21AC entered the Chicago market in February 2011 to re-launch the Century 21 brand in the downtown area and to bring a proven operating platform to the large and fragmented Chicago real estate market. At Century 21 Affiliated, the customer comes first. Our complete commitment to delivering top-notch customer service to our clients is what distinguishes us from our competitors and makes us such a powerful force in the real estate industry. Specialties Residential Sales, Commercial Sales, Short Sales, Bulk Sales, REO's, Leasing, Business Services

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