5 Steps To Avoid Key Delays On Closing Day

Dated: April 16 2024

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5 Steps to Avoid Key Delays on Closing Day

5 Steps to Avoid Key Delays on Closing Day


Want to avoid key delays on closing day? While the closing day can seem to be straightforward, many little moving parts need to fire at exactly the right times to ensure it all goes as smoothly as planned. One big misconception is that because both parties have executed their closing documents, they assume their transactions are closed. We are sharing some timely tips to ensure the transaction closes on closing day and buyers get their keys!


5 Steps to Avoid Key Delays on Closing Day 


1) Choosing a Closing Date 

When a buyer initially fills out the sales contract, they will most likely choose a date that falls on the 30-day mark. While this can be the norm, many lenders do best with a 45-day closing to give them enough time to process all the loan details, especially for specialty loan products or in cases where the borrower is self-employed. When searching for a closing date on the calendar, there are some days/dates to watch out for when scheduling.

  • Weekends & Holidays are days to avoid. Most title companies are not open when banks are closed, so make sure that the closing date does not fall on one of those days. If the banks are not open, they cannot transfer funds… which means no closing.

  • Fridays are also a day to avoid. It may seem like the perfect day to close; however, if any complications arise and the closing cannot occur, the buyer will not be receiving those keys until the following Monday. That’s a big delay when movers are lined up and the buyers are expecting to sleep in their new home. The best bet is to schedule the closing mid-week on a Wednesday or Thursday. That way, there is a buffer between the signing and the weekend if any last-minute snafus need to be sorted out!

  • Avoid End of the Month closings. Many people choose the 30th or 31st as a closing date for mortgage payments and tax purposes. The issue can be that these are highly popular times to schedule a closing, which could translate into potential stress, including scheduling delays, rushed closings, and missed wire cutoff times. If a seller wants to negotiate to close towards the end of the month, choose a few days prior, such as the 26th or 27th, to play it safe. To learn more about closing on a home at the end of the month, click here

 

2) Check in with the Lender

Call or email the lender 1-2 weeks before closing to ensure the closing is still on target for the contracted closing date. The worst thing that can happen is thinking the transaction is still on track to close on the date that's on the contract, and both parties have lined up movers, cleaners, etc. only to find out there are some last-minute hoops to jump through with the lender’s underwriting department. Getting that info a week or two before closing is always better than knowing a day or two before closing. Being proactive with this communication will help to ease any added stress.

 

3) Call the Bank

It's ALWAYS a smart idea to call the bank the week before closing to see if an appointment needs to be made to go inside the bank to wire funds for closing or if they will take the wire request over the phone. Most banks have a wire cutoff time of 4:00-4:30 PM. *With Wiring Instructions: Always, always, always have the bank speak directly to the title company to obtain those wire instructions for transferring money. Never get in the middle of passing on the account and routing information through a personal email address. This will only increase the risk for any predatory hackers or fraudsters looking for a way to steal large sums of money. Lastly, a wire is NOT the same as an ACH transaction. ACH transactions are often rejected by title companies and can take days to post. A wire transfer often comes with a small fee and will arrive in the title company's account the same day, ensuring there are no closing delays. 

 

4) Check in with The Title Company

Call or Email the title company the week of closing to:

  • Confirm the Cash to Close. This is the money the buyer will need to wire for closing. *This is in conjunction with the call to the bank for wiring appointments.

  • Get a Copy of the ALTA Settlement Statement. This is the list of all charges associated with the closing. Confirm all charges and credits are correct before arriving at the closing table. At a buyer’s or seller’s request, title companies will go over this document over the phone and answer questions before closing. This will save time and any confusion on the day of closing. An experienced REALTOR (like us!) will also be able to review the charges on the settlement statement with you prior to closing, to check for accuracy, as well. 

  • Confirm the Closing Date & Time and check to see when the Sellers are signing. It is always a good idea to confirm closing times. Both parties need to sign, and the original documents need to be in the hands of the title company before they deem the transaction is closed. If the seller’s signing is after the buyer’s signing, or if the seller is out of state and is waiting on the original documents via FedEx, it could delay closing. Title companies are required to record the original signed documents with the county, which is why they must have them in their possession before they can distribute funds and deem the transaction as closed. 

 

5) Wire the Funds Early

Wire the “Cash to Close” Funds 24-48 hours before the signing to the title company. This will save you time and stress on the day of closing. The day before the closing, call the title company to ensure the lender has also sent their wire for the loan portion. The transaction will not be fully complete unless all funds are in on the day of closing. If the lender’s funds have not made it to the title company, contact the lender immediately. 

 

In review, the title company must have in their possession all the original documents signed by both parties, and all funds from the buyer and the buyer’s lender (if they are getting a loan) to deem the transaction closed. While it might seem like a few extra steps to take, following these 5 steps will help to safeguard the closing date and ensure the buyers get their keys at the closing table!

 

Have questions about the closing process? We can help!

Call us at (727) 400-3315 or Message Us HERE

The Sandy Hartmann Group


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Mike Hall

Born and raised in the Midwest, Mike Hall has a passion for helping buyers find the perfect homes in the Tampa Bay area. When Mike isn't working, you can often find him walking his 3 dogs around town,....

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