Best to Use a Closing Checklist to Catch Potential Problems before the Sale Closes

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I always use a buyer's closing checklist, like the one on page 214, to make certain that I do not overlook any of the important details that are an integral part of the closing process. Closing is the time when it is critical that all of your t's are

_FORM 20.3 Sample Buyer's Closing Checklist_

1. Review the title insurance policy for exceptions, which are excluded from coverage.

2. Review the survey of the property.

3. Verify the property's legal description.

4. Verify the property's zoning designation.

5. Check with government agencies for building, fire, safety, and health code violations.

6. Review the hazard insurance policy.

7. Review the termite inspection report.

8. Verify the property tax payment status.

9. Compute the mortgage or deed of trust interest proration.

10. Compute the real property tax proration.

11. Check with government agencies for environmental hazard citations.

12. Review the bill of sale for personal property.

13. Review the deed.

14. Review the promissory note.

15. Review the mortgage or deed of trust loan documents.

16. Review the loan assumption documents.

17. Review the HUD 1 Settlement Statement.

18. Verify that a current certificate of occupancy has been issued for the property.

19. Check with government agencies for municipal liens.

Copyright Thomas J. Lucier 2005. To customize this document, download it to your hard drive from Thomas J. Lucier's web site at The document can then be opened, edited, and printed using Microsoft Word or another popular word processing application.

crossed and your i's dotted. I say this because it can be extremely hard to get mistakes corrected after the closing has taken place, especially when the sellers have picked up stakes and left town without leaving a forwarding address. And when this happens, you are what is known in Marine Corps parlance as SOL!

And while you are doing your pre-closing checks, be sure to take the time to sit down and double-check all loan, title transfer, and closing documents for:

1. Mistakes made in computing prorations.

2. Mistakes made in transposing numbers and letters.

3. Mistakes made in spelling and typing.

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