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Contract to Close (in Erie County) for Buyers

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Behind the Scenes: Contract to Close- Buyer


So, your offer has been accepted on the house you love. Now what? Well, there are things you will need to take care of and then there are things that will be happening behind the scenes from this point until the closing date. Let’s look at the process, as it goes here in WNY, chronologically:


Once you have a signed contract, you should:

  • Let your Realtor know who your Real Estate Attorney is so he/she can send the contract documents to your attorney for approval.
  • Choose a home inspector and schedule the home inspection (and any other inspections…radon, termite, etc.) for about three days after contract date. (This gives time for attorney approval before you pay for inspection.)
  • Bring your EMD (Earnest Money Deposit) to the home inspection and give it to your realtor. She will make sure the Listing Agent gets it once the home inspection is signed off on. Also, bring a check to pay inspector fees.
  • The home inspection is the perfect time to take pictures and measurements for window treatments, furniture placement, etc.
  • Once your home inspection is complete, discuss the findings with your realtor and determine if anything needs to be fixed by the seller (usually safety issues, etc.).
  • Once all parties have agreed to a plan of action, your Realtor will draw up the PINA (Property Inspection Notice & Addendum), all parties will sign and your Realtor will forward this to the attorney.
  • Now that the inspection has been signed off on, you need to officially apply for your mortgage within a couple days. You’ll need to fill out all the necessary paperwork and turn in bank statements, tax statements, etc. that are requested by the Mortgage Consultant. In most cases, you’ll need to give the Mortgage Consultant a check for the appraisal fee.
  • You’ll want to obtain a quote for your homeowner’s insurance.
  • At this point, it’s a good idea to look into your moving truck or moving company, as those services are hard to obtain last minute. You have an “on or about” closing date, so you’ll want to schedule for a ballpark time period but find out how flexible they can be.


You will submit your loan application within a couple days of the home inspection and then you won’t be too involved in the process for a while. But it doesn’t mean nothing is happening. From this point, everything is behind the scenes until a couple weeks before closing. During these weeks:

  • The underwriter is processing all the paperwork for your loan, making sure everything is in order.
  • An appraisal will be ordered by your lender and the Realtors will coordinate the timing of the appraiser gaining access to the house.
  • Once the lender has processed all the paperwork, they will issue a commitment letter, which your Realtor will make sure your attorney and the Listing agent receives. The deadline for the commitment letter is listed in your contract, so your Realtor will be keeping an eye on this deadline for you.
  • Once the commitment letter is received, and a “clear to close” is issued by the bank, the attorneys will review title paperwork.
  • At this point, once all the title paperwork is complete, your attorney will work with you and the seller’s attorney to schedule the closing.


Now you have some more things to do…

Two weeks before closing:

  • Contact your homeowners insurance company to set up the policy to be in effect the day of closing.
  • Check with your lender to see if any additional information is needed before closing.
  • At the post office, you can obtain a Change of Address packet and begin making notifications.

One week before closing:

  • Schedule your utilities to be transferred into your name on the day of closing (gas, electric, water, cable, etc.)
  • Confirm closing date with your Realtor or Attorney
  • Schedule the Final Walk Thru with your Realtor to be done, usually, the day before closing.
  • Request the certified closing funds from your bank to be picked up one day prior to closing.

One day before closing:

  • If you haven’t already received it, ask your attorney for the closing paperwork so you can review it. There won’t be time to go over everything at the closing table and you want to make sure you can ask questions and not hold up closing.
  • Pick up your certified funds.
  • Do the Final Walk through with your Realtor to ensure all repairs have been made and the house is in the same general condition it was when you made your purchase offer.

Day of Closing, bring:

  • Certified Funds
  • Photo ID of all purchasers
  • Copy of Homeowners Insurance Policy
  • Any other documents requested by your attorney or lender

Your Realtor will make arrangements ahead of time to make sure your Attorney has your keys at closing. (Usually extra keys and garage openers, etc. will be locked in the house.)

CONGRATS! You are now a homeowner!!!


Written and Provided by Rebekah Weissert, Real Estate Salesperson at Keller Williams Realty Buffalo Northtowns.

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