I’m in the final sprint to closing on my new house, and I’m working hard to keep the real estate stress monster at bay. Despite already buying a home, refinancing a home, AND selling a home, I still find myself being tripped up by various snafus during this process.
Suffice to say, I’m beginning to think that no matter how many times you work through a real estate transaction, you’re bound to feel like you’re simply fumbling through the various steps.
With closing a mere 3 days away, I’m trying a variety of tactics to ensure my hair is still on my head when those keys are handed to me. Here are my tips for how to make closing on a home less stressful:
Organization is Your Best Friend
This is applicable for the entire home buying or selling process, but most important during those final days. Make sure to stay as organized as possible–with your paperwork, your schedule, and your communication. I like to create a master to-do list that I update regularly, and I also create a daily to-do list each morning to help myself stay on track throughout the day.
Another good idea is to set up a phone call or office visit schedule for yourself. Yesterday, I had time blocked for calling my banks (transferring money between online and brick & mortar banks is so frustrating sometimes!), touching base with my attorney about closing time, checking with the moving company about my pod delivery, and circling back with my mortgage broker about the appraisal (I fired my first mortgage company 8 days before closing–more about that in a future post!).
Trust the Experts…
I’m a very hands-on person, especially when my hard-earned money is at stake. That being said, I’ve learned when to defer to the experts for their guidance. If you’re in the process of buying or selling, don’t hesitate to rely on the experts you’re paying to help you through.
…But Don’t be Afraid to Speak up
Of course, if something doesn’t seem right, you also shouldn’t be afraid to speak up.
When my first mortgage company was refusing to count a significant portion of my income in its qualification process (ahh…the life of a freelancer), I didn’t waste any time in challenging their decision and ultimately finding another bank to work with. In the end, I will pay less fees, have a better interest rate on my loan, and I’ll be treated to much better customer service. It’s a win-win-win!
Make Time for Yourself
While the to-do list items can seem never-ending and overwhelming, don’t forget to take time for yourself. Whether it’s a yoga class, a phone call with a friend, or ordering takeout if you’re too tired to cook, cut yourself some slack and budget in a few extra creature comforts when things with the house feel stressful.
After all, exercising now could be the difference between a relaxed evening tonight or a stress-induced shopping spree tomorrow that could throw off your carefully laid financial plan.