Post # 1
With any luck we will have the keys to our home on the 29th in just 2 days!!!
I’ve gotten good faith estimates out the wazoo, but am still awaiting a freakin’ final talley of what I’m supposed to fork over on the big day. The bank’s estimate was $5k higher than the title company’s because of the transfer taxes. I’m assuming the title company is more in the loop and will be closer to accurate as they know what’s going on with the transfer taxes. But a $5k difference? UGH! Like the rest of this process, it’s all just frustrating that things wait until the last minute. I mean, seriously, why? What happens the day before that they have to wait until then to spring a value on you?
Ranting aside, in my state of residence, both sellers and buyers are required to be present at the settlement. What questions did you or would you ask the sellers in person before buying your home? I had a few maintenance questions to ask them. Wasn’t sure what the bees thought of asking or wish they’d have asked that proved very helpful.
Post # 3
I didn’t find out my final number until the day before. It was $600 more. I didn’t speak to the seller really at all. There was some tension between the realtors and it was really quite awkward.
Post # 4
We asked the sellers all questions during the home inspection, as they were present at the time. They left us fabulous receipts and maintenance records for everything, which was wonderful to have.
We didn’t do much talking at settlement either, other than the usual nervous comments we made here and there.
Sometimes you’ll have to pay an amount over and it will be refunded as soon as the town releases final amounts. It just happened to us on the sale of my Dad’s house, and we got a final check back for $600. a few weeks after settlement.
Post # 5
Transfer taxes in my city/county were almost $8k, so i’d believe the difference. That should be a figure you can calculate on your own. Did your realtor give you a sheet with transfer taxes broken down by city and county? If not, google it. It should be a dollar value per thousand dollars of the purchase price.
We never met or spoke to the sellers in CA. Everything was communicated through our agents.
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
Hi! I am a real estate broker and I used to work for a mortgage broker, so hopefully I can help. The reason they don’t know the final figure until the day before (and in some cases, the day of) closing is because the lender has their figures, the title company has their own fees, and for some reason they just don’t communicate until those numbers are 100% finalized after final loan approval (right before closing) in case something has to change due to potentially inaccurate info about your income and other fees such as transfer tax that can fluctuate.
It’s really frustrating for people, but the safety net of a good faith estimate is that the final figures have to be within a certain percentage of their original estimate (I think it’s within 10% but I don’t recall for certain). The numbers can be as far under as they can get them, but they can’t be over more than 10%.
Post # 7
@gingerkitten: Thank you! Yes, I asked our realtor this question and he pointed out what you said. He said quite a number of settlements he was involved with were delayed because of that 10% increase that you mentioned. Sad.
We did a final walk-through yesterday and my husband jotted down a few questions to ask the sellers (things like, which light switch does what etc). Should be an interesting day!
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2014 - Paradise Gardens
@gingerkitten: That’s really good to know. I will be in the same boat in approx. 15 more days!
@pfinarffle: Thanks for starting this thread… ca you keep us posted of the outcome?
Post # 9
We found out our final number two days before closing.
In Missouri the sellers do not have to be at closing. So we didn’t ask them any questions.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
We didn’t meet with the sellers at closing either – but we did the next day, and the day after that, when they still hadn’t freaking moved out! Grr. It was ridiculous.
One thing you might ask is if they’re leaving any “supplies” or the like in the house or garage. Ours left a bunch of random stuff, some of which is useful (spare flooring materials, potting soil and pots, etc) and some of which was random (old barley and other foodstuffs).
Post # 11
Greetings, bees! Just reporting back after our closing day. Everything went swimmingly well!
The sellers were very OCD about everything, to say the least. The sweetest people on the planet. The husband even spackled and repainted everything after they removed their wall hangings and furniture! My jaw dropped when I saw that. It was like moving into a brand new house from the 1960s! 🙂 They lined up the user manuals for all the major appliances including the furnace, water heater, kitchen appliances, garage door openers etc right near the appliances for us. They placed all the leftover paints, tiles etc in the garage for us to use for touchups. I can only hope to keep the place as spic and span as that couple did so amazingly well!
We asked them for their email as the wife had lost her mother’s wedding band somewhere in the yard; so we’re going to keep an eye out for it and forward it to them if it ever (hopefully!) turns up.
As for process, at least here in Maryland timing is of the essence. You have 20 minutes to sign all the documents and get all the monies. So the first few minutes of constant paperwork signing were intense. But while you wait for the processing, you can chat about whatever you want as far as how the home works. Every home and scenario is different, I guess. But it was nice to see who we inherited the place from. They told us what they knew about the history of the property, which was neat. We asked them questions about how the light switches and such were laid out as well as things we had questions about on our final walk-through. I also asked the sellers what one thing they would’ve improved next if they could improve anything at all. The husband said gutter helmets were a must because of a few maple trees that overhang the roof somewhat (the helicopters are a PIA to get out of gutters apparently). Thankfully the place is a rancher, so I’m not too worried about cleaning the gutters for a year or so.
Everything went so freakin’ quickly! I’m not sure how legal this was, but my husband found a way to audio record the whole settlement so that whatever questions we asked them would be around in an audible form for us to review after the fact. It’s really easy to hear something and think you understood only to realize you had no idea what they were talking about!
Our realtor was super sweet, too. He bought us a bottle of champagne with two glasses for us to celebrate with! 🙂 We’d gotten him a Starbucks gift card since we noticed he’s a coffee addict like my husband. Ironically enough, he’d bought the sellers Starbucks gift cards too!
Please keep posting to this thread to make it a helpful source of info for other bees in the future, especially since every state (and country!) does things differently.
Post # 12
Buying a house is the most exciting and frustrating thing ever! my boyfriend and I purchased a house together and we were suppose to settle last week. Then it got pushed to their friday and I just got a phone call today that we are not going to settle until next week. There is so much waiting around. We want to get into the property already.
Ugh why cant they just stick to dates that are set!