Closing Checklist

After your offer has been accepted, the work is only partly over. Below, I have compiled a list to help you keep up with the things you need to do before closing. For resources to help you with your transition (inspectors, movers, home warranty information etc.), click here.

  1. Your loan processing should take first priority! Complete any last paperwork your lender may need you to fill out or send to them.
  2. Complete any inspections. If you have any inspection contingencies (general inspection, lead-based paint, mold, radon), make sure that these are completed within the indicated time frame.
  3. If required by your lender or your contract, make sure the termite inspection has been ordered (almost always in the case of single-family homes, and sometimes in the case of a condo or coop).
  4. Get insurance. Whether you are moving to a single-family home or to a condo or coop, insurance is very important. In the case of a single-family home, your loan officer will not be able to complete your loan package without proof of insurance. Insurance is also now usually required in the case of a condo or coop, but really, it just makes good common sense to have protection for damage to the inside of your unit and for either theft or damage to any of your belongings.
  5. If you will be purchasing a home warranty, do so before closing.
  6. Complete any paperwork and respond to any inquiries that the settlement or title company might have.
  7. Schedule your move. Hire any movers (you can often get estimates online or over the phone) or schedule to rent any moving trucks. Additionally, in the case of a condo or co-op, you may need to inform the management company of the time your move is scheduled so that they can reserve any elevators for you.
  8. If you are in DC and need parking for your moving van or yourself for the move, go to the local police station to apply for the permits (you’ll need to post the reserved parking signs at least a few days in advance).  If your block qualifies for a permanent residential guest parking pass (for longer term guests visiting or staying more than street parking allows), apply here or call (202) 673-6813 between 8:15 am and 4:45 pm.
  9. Change your utilities. Cancel the utilities at your current residence and turn on the utilities at your new one. This includes electricity, gas and oil, phone, cable and satellite TV and any special internet service (DSL, cable high-speed access etc.).
  10. Change your mailing address with the U.S. Postal Service. *Tip* Unsubscribe from junk Catalogs, free registration with the Do Not Call list to unsubscribe from telephone solicitations. Opt out of all credit card and mortgage refinance offers here and cut down on the junk mail!
  11. Go to the bank. About a day before closing, the settlement company should have the final loan documents from your lender so that they can provide you with your final closing costs. Get a cashier’s or certified check to cover these costs (the total closing costs minus your earnest money deposit), paid to the settlement company or yourself (you can endorse it to them there).
  12. Go to your scheduled walk-through the day before or the day of closing so that you may inspect the property to make sure that it is in substantially the same condition as when you ratified the contract to purchase it.
  13. Go to settlement! Be sure to bring a government-issued photo ID and a personal check. If there are any adjustments to the closing statement at settlement and you owe more money, most settlement companies will take an additional personal check if the adjusted difference is under a thousand dollars. If your cashier’s check is more than the amount needed, the settlement company will cut you a refund check at the table.
  14. Change the locks to your new home.
  15. Register to vote, register your car and get a new driver’s license in your new jurisdiction.
  16. Move, you’re home!