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Buying a Home: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

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Chapter 11. Prepare for the Closing

Congratulations—you’ve got a deal! Once the ink has dried on your new purchase-and-sale agreement and the fizz has left the celebratory champagne, you’re probably left wondering, “Now what?” You’ve got a contract to buy a home, but the real work is just beginning. Now is the time to acquire financing (Chapter 8), arrange for a home inspection (Chapter 12), and work your way through a to-do list of other tasks to get ready for the closing—the official act of transferring ownership from the seller to you. Depending on the contingencies in your purchase agreement and when you want to close, you may have to move fast.

This chapter explains how to clear the way for the closing by removing those contingencies, initiating a title search, buying insurance and perhaps a home warranty, getting ready to move, and walking through the house to inspect it one last time.

Check Off Contingencies

Your purchase agreement contains a number of contingencies (Contingencies)—conditions that you or the seller must meet before the sale can happen. Some contingencies, such as the financing and home inspection contingencies, protect you if a serious problem arises that prevents you from buying the house. Others protect the seller, like a contingency that limits how much the seller will pay for repairs.

When you’re satisfied that a contingency has been met, you remove that contingency from the purchase agreement. For example, when your lender sends you a commitment letter approving ...

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