The Five "Be's"of Closing
1. Be Informed – The time to ask questions about your property and the terms of your agreement with the seller is BEFORE your contract is signed. The "what-ifs" should be answered completely within the "four corners" of the signed contract. The questions such as "what if there are renters in place?" or "what if we don't close on time?" or "what if we don't get the loan?" should all be discussed and known before you sign your contract. Your realtor will give you a lot of information, such as Home Owners Association regime fees, how much the taxes will be on a particular property, whether a villa will allow pets, etc., and you need to address any of these concerns before you have committed yourself to buying a property. Getting "out" of a contract is much more difficult than making one.

2. Be Organized – Gather from your real estate professional, your attorney and any friends who may live here the names of side services you will need for your closing: lenders, insurance agents, inspectors and perhaps contractors. All of these people will be your team for a smooth closing experience. Make sure you have a well-organized folder with all of the names and contact information for everyone involved in your closing.

3. Be Communicative –We all value our time. If your realtor or attorney is trying to contact you, please be available. We only ask the questions that we need to know. If you don't like phone calls, provide an email. Most realtors and attorneys are easily reached by email. Clients should be responsive as the process unfolds.

4. Be Inquisitive - If there is something you don't fully understand, ask the question. Don't be afraid to ask. I would always prefer a conversation about something so you don't worry unnecessarily. The time to find out how much your taxes will be is not at the closing table. Make sure you keep a list of anything you don't know, and be sure to get those questions answered before you sign your contract. A survey is a great tool to eliminate any questions about encroachments, projections and shared walls or fences. Likewise, home inspections give you the facts about the property and whether something is in "good working order."

5. Be Patient - Closings take time and we must gather a lot of information and verify many things before we can give you final numbers for the closing. Most of the time, we can't give you a final total until a day or so prior to closing. If possible, allow at least 30 days from the contract date until the closing date. This allows ample time for all parties (lenders, appraisers, inspectors, attorneys, etc.) to do their jobs. "Rush" jobs don't get the same time and consideration and can even cost you more.