Closing: Understanding your Legal Obligations as a Buyer

So you’ve made a successful offer to purchase the home of your dreams, or at least taken that important first step toward home ownership. Now what?

At this point, typically there is a bit of waiting period. Closing periods can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months, but there are some important buyer obligations that need to happen right away.

Once your offer has been accepted, there’s typically a 10-day conditional period, during which you take all the necessary steps with regard to financing, home inspection and everything else that needs to happen before you officially seal the deal. Your mortgage lender will need a copy of the offer to make sure everything is still in order and that the offer is still in line with your pre-approved level of financing.

What to do During the Home Inspection

Your building inspector will discuss with you their overall approach and how their findings will be shared with you. Your Real Estate Agent will be able to advise you as to the most likely approach to be taken by building inspectors in your area.

If permitted, you may want to consider accompanying the inspector throughout the home inspection process, which usually takes about three hours. This will allow you to learn as much as you can about the various systems in the home: From heating and plumbing to electrical and roofing. The home inspection may also identify some repairs that need to be made, which may allow you to negotiate a lower purchase price or insist that the repairs be made at the seller’s expense before you proceed with the deal.

At the end of the conditional period—with any adjustments or repairs made to your satisfaction, your Real Estate Agent will finalize the deal and your lawyer will process the paperwork, including the mortgage documents with your lender. All of this will point to a final date of actual legal possession: The real closing day.

Four Things that Happen on the Date of Legal Possession

-Your mortgage lender will provide the funds to your lawyer
-You pay all of the remaining closing costs
-Your lawyer pays the seller and registers the home in your name
-You have all your insurance in place

Welcome Home!

Whether it’s weeks or months between finalizing the deal and actually moving in, it’s just a matter of planning your move. This may include hiring a moving company, arranging electricity and cable services, rerouting your mail and other moving essentials.

Before long, you’ll be settled in the new place you call home.

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