Prior to closing there are several tasks that must be taken care of. If you are using the services of a realtor/real estate agent, many of these tasks can be arranged by your agent. Be prepared to have enough money set aside to cover these expenses.
Property Appraisal - An appraiser will view the property and also look up the price of homes comparable to the home you want to purchase. This is done to determine the fair market price for the home.
Property Survey - A surveyor will verify the property lines for the home being purchased.
Title Search - A title company will check that there are no outstanding liens against the property or other potential claims against the property.
Homeowner's/Hazard Insurance - Obtain homeowner's/hazard insurance. Lenders often require proof of payment of the first year's premium at closing. Hazard insurance offers protection for you and the lender against loss due to fire, windstorm, and natural hazards. This coverage may be included in a homeowner's policy that insures against additional risks which may include personal liability and theft.
Home Inspection - A home inspector will determine the structural and mechanical integrity of the home. Examples of structural items to be inspected include the foundation, walls, roof, floors, windows and doors. Mechanical items to be inspected include heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and electrical fixtures, appliances and other items that may convey.
Termite Inspection - An exterminator will inspect the home for evidence of infestation and/or damage by termites.
Radon Inspection - A radon inspection may be required in some localities.
Final Walkthrough Inspection - It is important that you complete a final inspection of the house, known as the walkthrough, within 24 hours before your closing. This is your final chance to check for any additional problems or repairs, to make sure that agreed upon repairs have been completed, and to check that the house is in the condition you expected. You should check that all items conveying with the house are present and have been left in acceptable condition. If not all of the requirements are met by the official closing date some of the seller's funds can be held in an escrow account until the required actions are completed.
Certified Check to Cover Closing Costs - A few days before closing you will be told what your final closing costs will be. You must have enough money to pay these costs on the day of closing. Usually a certified check is required for payment rather than a personal check.