Seattle home buyers and sellers... planning to make a late-August purchase closing? Keep an eye on your calendar. The last Friday of this month coincides with Labor Day Weekend, which can make for a complicated, end-of-month closing.
If your home purchase or sale is schedule to close around, August 31, plan ahead, because leaving anything to the last minute could delay your closing by hours in a best-case scenario, and by days in a worst-case. Washington is an "escrow" closing state, so your own signatures will take place a few days before closing, which definitely helps. Regardless, it pays to be prepared, just in case.
This is because Labor Day is among the most popular vacation times of the year in the real estate, title and mortgage industries and, as Labor Day approaches, it's increasingly hard to resolve "issues" related to settlement -- not all parties are readily available for resolution.
Steps to a Smooth Escrow and Closing
For Seattle area home buyers currently under contract, and for homeowners with a refinance in-process, the best defense at a time like this is a good offense. Get proactive with the mortgage process.
These steps can help your end-of-month closing go more smoothly this month :
- Prepay your first year of homeowners insurance, effective your closing date. Provide proof of payment to your lender.
- Document and deposit all gifts and retirement withdrawals to be used in conjunction with your closing as early in the process as possible.
- If applicable, get Power of Attorney forms signed by all parties, and lender-approved in advance. Don't leave this for the last week.
- When your lender makes requests for paperwork, fulfill the requests within 24 hours, when possible.
In addition, if you're a home buyer, consider scheduling your home walk-through for as early as can be reasonable. If there are any issues to resolve, there's ample time to address it among all parties.
Furthermore, if you have planned vacation time between today and your closing date, make it known to all parties, and make sure to be reachable in the event of emergency by phone and/or email.
Real estate brokerages, title companies and mortgage lenders are notoriously short-staffed as Labor Day approached. Routine tasks take longer than usual. Therefore, be sure to keep in close contact with your Seattle area lender, title company and escrow officer.