Closing: How to Make Sure Things Go Smoothly
When you buy a house or an apartment, there are several steps: You decide how much money you can spend; find a property you like; make an offer; negotiate an acceptance; sign a contract; line up your financing, and then close on the property.
So, in some sense closing is what you’re working towards. It’s the point where you sign the papers that make the home legally yours, and it’s usually when you get the keys.
Let’s take a look at key tips when closing:
1. Legal advice: Take care and get legal advice before signing any documents. A lot of property in Spain is sold before building has even started, in which case you will need to get proof of planning permission and plans of the property itself, and often foreign people sign contracts thinking they are expressing a formal interest in building plans whereas in fact they are legally binding themselves to a house sale.
2. Commitment letter: when it comes, read it carefully to make sure that you are doing everything you’re supposed to do. Often there’s a list involved, so if the letter says, “your commitment is conditional on your doing A, B, and C,” go ahead and do A, B, and C. Also read the letter to see if there is a list of what violates your commitment. A common commitment breaker is a changing financial status, so don’t change jobs or make a major purchase between commitment and closing.
3. Have your real estate agent contact the seller to make sure that all the locks in the house are in good working order and to remind her to bring a full set of keys to closing. If you are doing your walk-through of the property right before closing, that’s a good time to remind the seller, too.