At this point, your mortgage and title company should have all the relevant documentation and information needed from you to close the transaction. Your real estate agent should be communicating with all parties involved to make sure that the transaction is being coordinated properly.
Your sales contract will have dates and deadlines to be met in order for the deal to maintain legality. If you have a contractual closing date and your mortgage lender needs another week or two to close, the sellers have the right to keep your earnest money and put their house back on the market if you cannot close by the date on the sales contract. Even though this is not a common practice, it does happen.
Most people just focus on their mortgage payment, but they also need to be aware of the other expenses such as property taxes, utilities and homeowner-association dues. Most of the time, your payment includes money that goes into escrow, for later payment of bills like homeowners insurance, property taxes and mortgage insurance. It’s critical that you know what bills are being paid by escrow and what bills for which you're responsible. Some mortgage lenders will require taxes and possibly insurance to utilize an escrow account; however, you may decide to lower the monthly payment and pay these items yourself. If you decide to not use escrow, you must remember that the full tax amount and insurance will be your responsibility.
One often overlooked addition to your loan payment, not always part of escrow although worth mention is private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you are a first time buyer or down payment is less than 20%, you may be required to have PMI. PMI costs vary and depend on the loan rate and length.
Before closing, a final walk-through is important to verify all the appliances and other items that were to stay with the home are indeed still there and all the appliances or items that are not, have been removed. If there is an inconsistency, you would need to resolve the issue before closing, or cancel the closing and seek legal advice on how to resolve the issue.
At closing, the buyer has the majority of the papers to be signed. Be prepared to sign a stack of papers covering all aspects of your home purchase. The majority of the documents are generated from your mortgage company. If you are purchasing a government foreclosure (VA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), you will have even more papers than the average closing. Most closings take about an hour. Once you have signed all of the papers, the title company will submit the papers to the mortgage company and the mortgage company will then send the funds to complete the transaction. Some of our local lenders will fund the loan before closing and you can receive the keys as soon as you are done signing papers. Most of the national banks will require a few hours to fund the loan. If you have a late afternoon or evening closing, the loan will not fund until the next business day. This means that you will not be entitled to the keys until then, so plan accordingly. Once the loan has funded, you will receive the keys and be the proud owner of your home!