A buyer's closing checklist is an essential tool for first-time home buyers. We've put together a list of everything from your ID to your property records you can bring with you to make sure that you're prepared for the big steps in the buying process.

A) Driver's License or Valid Photo ID.

This is needed to identify yourself on all legal documents that are signed at closing. You should also have a copy of this on hand for any potential lenders who will be giving you pre-approval letters and other documentation.

B) Bank Info and Records.

It's valuable to have a written record of all the transactions you've had in your name. If you're relying on the home buyer's title insurance, this will be vital for determining the value of the property.

C) Mortgage / Deed Records.

Every lender will require at least one mortgage history report, which is usually required as part of a pre-approval letter before every transaction. Make sure you have them on hand for any future loan application.

D) Property Records.

If you're working with an attorney, they'll need to have copies of the property records and deeds on hand to review. This usually requires two or three months' worth of records, which is based on the age of the mortgage.

E) Homeowner's Insurance Policy.

You will want to make sure that you have a complete homeowner's policy in place, especially if you already have coverage on your previous home. Having this policy in place can help reduce some closing costs by providing proof that you've already gone through an inspection process and are covered by an insurance company.

F) Title Company Assignment Form.

The title company will need this form to memorialize your purchase. If you're among the few buyers not purchasing title insurance, you'll need to make sure that it's on file with your title company.

G) A Mortgagee's Release Form.

If you plan to take out an advance on your property's value, this is a form that you'll need to receive from your lender. It will allow you to use the home as collateral if you sign over physical control of the property.

H) Backup Copies of the Closing Documents.

This is something that is almost always overlooked, but it can make a huge difference in preventing problems with early disputes about who owns what. It's easy to run into problems when you don't have the original set of documents from the closing.

I) Closing Checklist.

This is a list of all the items that you'll need to bring for the closing, including all of your financial records, signed documents, and any additional information that your attorney or title company will require to complete your transaction.

J) Deposit / Cashiers Check.

Most title companies and banks will require proper documentation before they can begin processing the paperwork. It's important to bring this cashier's check with you to deposit in the account provided by your lender or closing agent.

Posted by Shawn Clayton on
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