Closing Day Problems when Home Buying

Vicki Moore
Vicki Moore
Published on September 24, 2018

Purchasing a home for the first time can be a daunting experience, and the closing day is perhaps the most exciting and nerve wracking part of the home buying process. Dealing with unexpected issues that may arise can be difficult. While some problems can be easily solved, others can derail your home ownership at the final hurdle.

 1.  Disheartening walk-through surprises

The final walk-through of the property takes place five to seven days before the actual close.  It doesn’t leave much time to prepare and react to problems. It’s not the time to make changes in the agreement, only to ensure the property is in the same condition it was in at the time you went into contract.  Be assured that problems are extremely rare and even more rare is being unable to resolve them. Having very thorough professional home and pest inspections of the home before the final home buying walk-through on closing day will protect from most surprises. View the house after a large storm to inspect for any dampness or flooding. Discovering a last minute problem means it’s time to negotiate the cost of repairs, not avoid purchasing the house. Your realtor will help you get through this should it happen

2.  What the seller takes with them when they move out

A common issue on the home buying closing day is confusion between the buyer and seller over which items are taken by the seller and which items remain with the property.  It’s clear in the contract but that doesn’t always remain clear at closing when the seller is in a hurry to get out. If you’re selling your house and you want to take things that are attached – like chandeliers or window coverings  – you can avoid future problems by taking them out of the house before it goes on the market. The simplest solution to any misunderstanding on home buying closing day is to have put it in writing at the beginning when you sign the purchase contract and refer to it and the end if there’s any confusion. Read 9 Things that Turn Off Northern California Home Buyers 

3.  Credit issues during escrow can cause closing delays

Today’s home buyers have been approved for a mortgage before even looking at homes. However, slight changes to your financial situation can alter your credit rating and problems can occur right up to the point of closing on the deal. If you change your job, apply for a credit card or loan, fail to make payments or bills, even an unexpected influx of cash can cause issues with mortgage approval. A few days ago, I met with clients at the title company so they could sign their closing documents.  On the way out, they mentioned that they were going to buy a new bedroom set.  No, you don’t! Don’t do anything to alter your credit. Don’t pay off your credit cards or add to them.  Wait until you are completely done with your home purchase before you make any changes in your finances.

4.  Money transfer errors

When you’re transferring funds to the escrow company, you’re just about home free. Most banks and financial institutions prefer to conduct transfers electronically. If you bring the wrong paperwork or make a mistake with account numbers or transfer amounts, you can delay the deal.  Remember, delays cost you time and money.

5.  Title issues

A title company will reveal details of the property, such as any liens, covenants, and past ownership, that can reveal serious issues on closing day.  Fortunately a title report is obtained at the very beginning of your transaction – most often, even before that.  So if there are any problems the resolution is started long before closing day; however, if it’s complicated it could take awhile.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that the home buying closing day is not set in stone.  There are a lot of issues that can come up to push that day out farther – sometimes days, even weeks.  Everybody wants to get the closing done on time – it’s just not always possible.  Having a Plan B or padding your move-out date from your current residence is a good idea.


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Are you thinking of home buying in Northern California?   If you haven’t hired a top producing Northern California real estate agent yet, contact me, and I’d be happy to discuss the real estate market history and the current state of the local market! About the author:  The above article “Closing Day Problems When Home Buying in Northern California” was provided by Vicki Moore of eXp Realty California.  With over 20 years of experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise. We service the following Northern California areas: Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, San Mateo, Foster City, Pacifica, Burlingame, San Carlos, Belmont, Redwood City.


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