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4 worrisome real estate closing issues and how to avoid them

If you are about to sell your home, your fondest wish is for the closing to go off smoothly.

Of course, problems can and do crop up at the 11th hour. Here are four issues that could delay your closing and how to avoid them.

1. Cloud on the title

Once you accept an offer from the prospective buyer, the title company will conduct a search to determine whether the title on your property is free and clear. Defects or “clouds” can include, among others, outstanding property taxes, contractor liens or past divorce decrees. Before you list your property, you should pay off debts and review pertinent documents with your attorney to determine if you need to take further steps.

2. Final walkthrough issue

Shortly before closing, your buyer will walk through the house to ensure that everything is as expected and there are no surprises in store. Make sure the repair work you agreed to is finished, that the appliances all work properly and that the items the buyer expects to see, such as window treatments, are still in the house.

3. Missing CD form

The closing disclosure, or CD, addresses the terms of your buyer’s loan and the closing costs for the sale of your home. The buyer must receive the CD no later than three days ahead of closing in order to review it. Be sure your real estate agent and the buyer’s agent connect with the title company often. A missed CD deadline will delay the closing.

4. Document errors

Carefully review documents in advance of the closing. Simple mistakes such as misspelled names and incorrect addresses can cause closing problems. You can easily avoid document errors. It is just one more potential problem to resolve so that your closing goes off smoothly and on time.

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