You’ve finally made it to the end –- only two more steps to go! Now comes the painful one; parting with your hard-earned dollars.

It’s time to wire the downpayment and the closing costs to the closing attorney. Even though you’ve been working hard to get through this process, complying with all of the lender’s requests and patiently waiting through weeks when it seemed like not a lot was going on, and even though the excitement of receiving the keys to your new home is right there on the horizon, paying a lump sum downpayment — usually the largest amount of money most consumers will ever spend at one time — can be bittersweet. But keep this in mind: you can now see the light at the end of the tunnel; the finish line is right there ahead of you! 

The home is almost yours!

Three days before closing, the lender is required by law to send you your Closing Disclosure; this document outlines the final terms and costs of your mortgage, and it’s one of the most important pieces of paperwork you’ll receive, so take the time to review it carefully. For a great article on the Closing Disclosure and what you should be looking for, click here

Along with the Closing Disclosure, your lender should also be able to give you close estimate of the amount of money needed to close (your downpayment plus any closing costs you will need to pay) as well as the wire transfer instructions. Unfortunately, the final, total amount due at closing is usually not available further in advance, as the closing attorney needs to receive final figures from both your lender (if utilizing a mortgage), as well as any county- or city-owned utilities attached to the home and an account statement from the Homeowner’s Association, if applicable. The number from your lender, however, should be very close to the final total due.

In almost all cases, closing attorneys in Georgia require that your closing funds be wired to closing — they  DO NOT accept personal checks, cashier checks, or money orders for these funds. We always recommend that you plan to wire extra funds, usually $1,000 – $2,000 on top of the lender’s estimate, just in case there are any changes that happen fewer than three days before closing, which happens frequently. You’ll need to wire transfer these funds in one lump payment the DAY BEFORE CLOSING. It is crucial that these funds be wire transferred the day before closing at the latest, to avoid any closing delays that could possibly be caused by a delay in the wire.

It’s a good idea to also call your bank in advance to find out what you need to do to make a wire transfer. Sometimes you can initiate a wire transfer via online banking, but many banks still require that you go to the bank personally to initiate the wire transfer. Also, find out what their cut off time is for a wire transfer to be delivered by the following morning; many times that is 4 PM. That means you’ll have to do the wire transfer by that time the day before closing in order for it to go into the closing attorney’s account on time. Once you’ve done the wire transfer, email us the exact amount that you wired, so we can ask the closing attorney to track your funds (it’s easiest for them to track by the exact amount wired); also let your mortgage lender know that you have initiated the wire.

Finally, explain to your work that you need to leave for a little while the day before closing in order to initiate the wire transfer and make sure that is okay with them.

At closing, any overage/extra money you paid will be refunded back to you at the very end of the closing via a check or by wire transfer, if you prefer (if you opt for a wire transfer, please bring a voided check to make sure the closing attorney gets your account information correct).

PLEASE NOTE: Wire fraud associated with real estate transactions is becoming an increasingly serious problem. There have been a number of hackers and scammers lately trying to divert (i.e., steal) closing funds to their personal accounts and away from homebuyers and from closing attorneys and title companies. Generally, the wire transfer instructions will be emailed to you from your mortgage lender, however, occasionally they will be sent to you from your attorney or from me. DO NOT FOLLOW WIRE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS SENT FROM ANYONE ELSE. ONLY FOLLOW WIRE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS SENT TO YOU BY ME, THE CLOSING ATTORNEY, OR YOUR MORTGAGE LENDER. It is always a good idea to call the closing attorney before wiring any funds to verify that the wiring instructions you have are legitimate. Click here to review the Wire Fraud Disclosure that we have all clients sign at the beginning of the transaction and that we attach to every contract.

Questions? Call 404-994-2181 or email Maura(at)BuySellLiveAtlanta(dot)com

Step 29 to Buying a Home: Attend Closing