Home Buyers: Here are 5 Expert Tips To Ensure A Smooth Closing

As you approach closing, the pinnacle of your home buying journey, you’d want nothing to go wrong. But with many hurdles or complications that could get in the way before you finally hold your house keys, expect the process to be more stressful and overwhelming. 

With a real estate agent by your side, you’re at least assured that the closing will be streamlined and become more bearable. But still, you have to know what to expect and do some legwork to help make it go as smoothly as possible. Here are several things you can do to prevent potential problems and close the deal with fewer hiccups:

1. Read as much paperwork in advance.

Last-minute delays at real estate closings are often caused by problems with paperwork. 

You are making the biggest purchase of your life, so it’s critical you understand every detail of your contracts. Get a head start on reviewing the paperwork as much as you can. Read every word carefully in the documents and emails being sent to you, and read everything again and again if needed. 

Doing so will give you ample time to make notes, ask questions, or address any misunderstandings in advance. This way, you won’t find yourself looking over the documents while everyone is sitting and watching. While there’s nothing wrong with taking your time during closing day, it might make you feel uncomfortable causing you to skip valuable details when signing.

2. Make sure your name is consistent throughout the documentation.

No alias, nicknames, or stage names are allowed when it comes to real estate transactions. 

You will be required to provide a government ID at closing. If your name on the ID doesn’t match your paperwork, you will have to either get a new ID that matches the one on the paperwork or redo the paperwork to match the name on the ID. This might be the case if you recently got married or divorced and failed to update your driver’s license with the name change. Either way, just know that you will not be able to close your house on that day. 

To avoid this complication, make sure your state-issued ID has your current name on it and double-check your name’s spelling on the paperwork. Likewise, always share your full legal name with the lender, your real estate agent, and the title officer when carrying out the deal.

3. Always keep relevant parties informed.

The real estate deal doesn’t just involve the buyer and the seller but also other relevant parties—the buyer’s agent, the seller’s agent, the lender, the title representative, and sometimes even a real estate attorney and an accountant.

Any changes that occur prior to closing, whether you’ve changed jobs, were furloughed, or you’ve made a deal with the seller about any last-minute repair, are important that your agent and lender are notified. Your paperwork must reflect any of these deals, which means you have to keep these relevant people in the know to protect yourself and avoid any delays at closing. 

4. Verify banking information and payment requirements.

Before sending money via wire transfer or a cashier’s check, ask questions about payment requirements and verify that all the information needed for the transfer is correct. 

Aside from your down payment which you have to pay upfront at closing, you also have to cover other closing costs, which means a huge amount of money will be moved around. Aside from making sure that the information is correct, check that the amount needed for closing costs is correct. The title company representative or the attorney will provide you with the exact amount required and how it should be paid, such as by wiring the funds in advance of the appointment.

If the attorney is requesting a wire transfer, remember that those instructions will never be emailed. To avoid falling victim to wire fraud, be vigilant and call the attorney or your real estate agent first to verify the wiring instructions. You want to guarantee that the person contacting you about the transfer of funds is the verified person instead of a scam artist.

5. Don’t hesitate to ask questions before and during closing.

If there are any words or terms you don’t understand? Just ask.

No question is too big or too small, especially when it comes to the complicated world of real estate. Whether it’s your first or even third time buying a home, it’s easy to get scared and overwhelmed. To ease some of that anxiety, call the title company before the closing day and ask them to walk you through the transaction. Clarify any issue that’s been bothering you or anything that’s still unclear about the contract. Don’t forget to also prepare and ask your agent and title officer questions during the closing. All of these measures will help the process go smoothly during closing day.

5 Reasons to Buy a Home During the Fall and Winter Months

Buying a home during the fall and winter months may cost you the convenience of moving during good-weather months or around school schedules. But it also comes with some impressive advantages. Here are five compelling reasons to buy a home during the fall and winter months.


In very general terms, buyers like to look for homes in the spring so they can move in the summer. This is traditionally true of families who want to move during summer break, particularly if they’re changing school districts. But there are also lots of buyers who prefer the better summer weather with longer daylight for moving and getting settled into a new home.

If you’re willing to move during the late fall, winter, or even early spring, you’ll enjoy less competition for homes on the market. And less competition means a lower likelihood of getting in a bidding war or being beaten by an all-cash offer.  


Especially going into the holidays, many sellers get nervous because they know buyers don’t like to move around the holiday season. So if they don’t have a buyer by the end of October, they may be afraid that they’ll have to remain in the house (or cover two mortgages if they’ve already moved) for all of November, December, and perhaps January. This gives sellers a good reason to accept your offer when it comes along during the slower fall and winter months.


With the cooler temps and increased rainfall of a Bay Area winter, buyers get to see how the home holds up to poor weather in real-time. Do you see signs of water intrusion on the ceiling? The roof may need to be repaired or replaced. Do you feel a draft from the windows or doors? They may need new weather stripping or you might want to upgrade for the sake of energy efficiency. What about water pooling in the yard? That can be a sign of poor grading and should be inspected to make sure water is being properly funneled away from the foundations.


During the spring and summer months, lenders, appraisers, inspectors, escrow companies, title agencies, and movers are all busy. In some cases, your closing date or your move-in date can be delayed simply because someone’s schedule is too tight to fit you in.

But in the winter months, when fewer homes are selling, schedules are more open, and you can be accommodated more quickly. There is, of course, one glaring exception. Many professionals take vacation in the final week or two of the year. So it might be harder to schedule a closing between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.


Every year, real estate markets all over the country record slightly lower median sales prices during January and February than during other times of the year. Take We buy houses in Grand Prairie Tx, for example. In January of 2019, the median sale price in SF County dropped to $1.2 million from $1.35 million the month before. Then rebounded to $1.31 million by February. Similarly, in January of 2020, the price dropped to $1.3 million from $1.38 million in November. Then it climbed back to $1.41 million by February. 

With fewer other buyers and motivated sellers, you hold more negotiating power to get a better price when you buy in the fall and winter months.