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The New Rules of Real Estate Closing

Sometimes, closing the deal on a home can be more difficult than the move itself. In a real estate market like this, every aspect of the closing is harder, says Dolly Lenz, vice chairman of top real estate broker Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Changing markets make people nervous, she says. It’s true for buyers, sellers and lenders. Everyone wants to avoid a glitch in the closing process, which is why you need to be prepared for every eventuality.

Bank scrutiny is intense as ever – perhaps deservedly so – meaning you should be prepared for your lender to review your documents two, three, even four times. The title company will review everything too, and the appraisers are looking over documents with a fine-toothed comb, Lenz says.

It helps to have an experienced real estate attorney on your side, too. Just make sure to negotiate a flat fee up front.

The most important document you need to have, according to Lenz, is the certificate of occupancy. But for all documents, it’s crucial to have them up-to-date to prevent you from going back to the drawing board in one of the most fragile markets in decades.

To ensure you close the deal, gather all the paperwork and ensure that the seller has ordered a home inspection. Also ask the seller to get an opinion of value just in case you, the buyer, want to re-negotiate the terms, Lenz advises.

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