Henry Sullivan | Real Estate Attorney | Closing Lawyer

It is always best to know what you need to have available before your real estate closing. To that end, here is a Buyer’s Checklist to help you organize what you will need to do for a successful real estate closing.

Download a Printable PDF version of this Checklist

The Buyer’s Checklist

Before the Closing

  1. Complete buyer information sheet and send to closing paralegal.
  2. Contact your loan officer on a regular basis (we suggest weekly, by email) to make sure your loan is progressing as planned through the approval process and to make sure you are providing to your loan officer all items he or she needs to process your loan. Also confirm at this time with your loan officer that your loan package will be delivered to the office of the closing attorney no later than the day prior to closing. This will allow the staff adequate time to prepare for your closing and also email the documents to you for review prior to closing, if you would like to do so.
  3. Coordinate with your realtor on home inspections, radon gas inspections, obtaining a CL-100 Report (“termite letter”) and any other reports, and provide a list of any requested repairs to the seller in accordance with the time allowed in the contract of sale.
  4. Obtain and review copies of restrictive covenants for the neighborhood (if applicable) from the seller for review. NOTE: Upon receipt of the title search the closing paralegal can verify for you the recorded restrictive covenants (if applicable) and send copies to you upon request.
  5. Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent to arrange for and to bind insurance coverage for closing.
  6. Coordinate with the closing paralegal to decide if you would like to order a new survey of the property, which is optional. NOTE: We recommend ordering a new survey at least three (3 ) weeks prior to closing, if possible, to allow for time to obtain the new survey and address any issues that may be disclosed by a the new survey of the property. Allow for time to inspect any seller repairs prior to closing to confirm all have been properly made as agreed upon and by licensed professionals, as applicable.
  7. You should receive your Closing Disclosure Form from your lender at least three days prior to closing. This document will set forth the costs, fees, charges and credits relating to the closing, along with the amount due from you for closing. If you have questions or need any clarification contact the closing paralegal to discuss.
  8. You will need to deliver the amount due for closing in “good funds” to the closing attorney. These funds may be in the form of a wire transfer of funds either before or on the day of closing. The funds may also be paid by certified bank check from a bank with offices in South Carolina, but if paid in this manner the check must be delivered to the closing attorney for deposit no later than the day prior to closing for deposit that day, unless otherwise agreed to and confirmed in writing by the office of the closing attorney.
  9. If you would like to review your loan documents prior to closing, please ask the closing paralegal to scan and e-mail to you for review upon receipt.
  10. Please bring your government issued photo id to closing, along with your checkbook (for any unforeseen amount due-typically not needed) , together with pleasant attitude in case any last minute issues need to be addressed at closing.
  11. At closing, remember to sign your name exactly as set forth on the documents (unless your signature is illegible), and try to be as consistent as possible with your signature.

After the Closing

  1. If this will be your primary residence, complete and file with the county the application for the special owner occupied tax rate for primary residences. NOTE: Prior to filing you will need to have your address changed on your South Carolina drivers license or id card to reflect the property address as your address, and you will have to register all of your vehicles in the county of residence.
  2. If the property is not your primary residence, then you should file the ATI exemption form between January 1st and January 31st of the first January following closing (or if closing in January then file in that month) to limit the revaluation of the property to a 25% increase.
  3. You should receive your recorded deed (Title to Real Estate) and your title insurance policy after closing from the office of the closing attorney. These should be retained in a safe place with your other important papers, especially your owners title insurance policy, which should be retained permanently, even after any sale of the property, in the event an issue ever arises that relates to or would be covered by title insurance.
  4. You will be responsible for payment of the property taxes for the year, unless they were paid at closing. Property taxes are typically billed in October or November of each year, and in the year of sale may be in the name of the seller(s), but you will should besure that you pay these taxes (or confirm that your lender has paid from your escrow account), unless they were paid at closing.