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Complications with closing: How to deal with closing day surprises

It’s happened to more than a few people. Everything seems like it’s finally settled, and you’re all eagerly awaiting the closing to finalize the sale. The seller and buyer are both looking forward to a new chapter. But then something comes up when it’s time to close.

With any number of things that could go wrong, how can you prepare for closing day surprises? 

Here are a few things that can come up at closing and how you can prepare for them.

Something changes with the financing

All the financing questions were already handled, right? Well, maybe not. While the initial pre-approval gave the buyer the power to start shopping, changes in spending behavior or even changes in the market could cause the lender to reconsider the investment.  Typically, this comes as a change in the financing terms, but in some cases the lender could withdraw altogether.

To prevent problems, try to keep your financial picture as consistent as possible from the time you apply for the mortgage, until closing day. This includes job changes or cash gifts. If there’s something that is going to change that can’t wait for closing, be upfront with your lender so that any changes that need to be made can happen before it’s time to close.

Buyer notices a new problem at final walkthrough

At this point, there have been more inspections and walkthroughs than you can count, but somehow on this last one, the buyer notices something wrong. Of course, neither of you is looking to walk since so much has gone into making this deal happen (not to mention, the buyer has earnest money on the table), but there needs to be an agreement nonetheless.

This isn’t exactly a situation you can prepare for, but knowing it can be an issue can at least keep you from being caught off guard. Just know, that there are a lot of options for resolving the issue and you both (with the help of your realtors) can come to an agreement that will meet everyone’s needs.

Trouble with the title

This might seem like something you won’t have to worry about. The seller owned it, the buyer is ready to purchase it. But suddenly, there’s a lien on the title that neither of you knew about.

There are any number of large or long-term purchases that could have created a lien on the property. Possibly even something from the previous owner. To prevent this from being an issue, be sure to check the title before closing to clear up any potential liens.

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