Buyer’s checklist for Settlement (once you're under contract in Delaware):
If you’re purchasing real estate and you’re under contract, Congratulations!
This checklist is designed to help you successfully get to Settlement here in Delaware.
o Make a list of the dates in the contract for all the things that need to be accomplished. It's your responsibility as the Buyer to do what you agreed to do.
o Make Formal application for your mortgage within the time frame noted on the contract. You’ll pay the application fee which covers the cost of the appraisal.
oSecure the services of a Real Estate Attorney who will conduct the Settlement.
o Inspections. Which inspections did you secure the right to perform on the property? Home, Wood Destroying Insect, Radon, Septic, Well, Pool, Stucco? Check with your REALTOR about the process to set these up and make sure they’re completed by the dates noted in the contract. You should attend the Home Inspection. Hopefully, your REALTOR will attend it with you. I always do. It will take approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the property. You will pay for the Inspections at the time they are performed.
oContact your homeowner’s insurance company and get a binder issued for the new policy. They may charge for this now OR they may offset the cost of the binder until Settlement. When you have the binder, furnish the information to your settlement attorney.
oContact the utility company for your area to get utilities turned on in your name at the new property, effective as of the date of Settlement.
oIf oil or propane heat, contact a company to arrange a contract for fuel and possibly a related service plan for the heater. Ask your home inspector about the benefits of service plans for your particular system.
oContact the phone company for phone service and a phone book.
oContact a cable company or verizon or direct tv or a satellite company to connect your television service, if desired.
oContact Post Office for change of address kit.
oContact a locksmith to have the locks changed after Settlement. You never know who has keys to your new house.
oIf you haven’t done so already, schedule an appointment with your tax advisor, personnel office or financial consultant, as your purchase affects your tax picture. Give your tax preparer/advisor a copy of your closing statement (HUD-1) after Settlement. They can advise strategies for your withholdings and taxes.
oArrange for movers. The property is yours to move into as soon as settlement occurs, unless another agreement has been reached between you and the Seller.
oArrange for a trash service, where applicable. Be aware that you are not able to put yard waste out with your regular trash in New Castle County, DE if your trash service dumps their trash at Cherry Island landfill. You have choices and options, including trash, yard waste and recycling. If you are buying in the City of Wilmington or other municipality, check with your town/city for their trash procedure.
o In Delaware, your Settlement attorney will arrange for survey, will have water and sewer service turned over to your name, and will secure a title company. You are offered a choice of Owner’s or Lender’s Title Insurance. The difference in cost between the two policies is only about one dollar per thousand dollars of the price of the home. Consult your attorney, but Owner’s is the best protection for YOU personally.
If you need permanent stakes placed at the edges of the property, you will need to inform the attorney and... there will be an extra fee for that (approximately $75 per stake)
The attorney will inform you, based upon information in the survey, if there are any infringements upon the property (easements, sheds, fences, garages, etc.) that may adversely affect your ownership. The survey is generally not produced until a few days prior to Settlement. If you have any concerns or questions, please make sure the attorney is aware of them.
o Contact the Settlement Attorney or your loan officer the week of Settlement to verify the amount of money you'll need to bring to Settlement. Bring the money in the form of certified funds, along with your Driver's License.
Any questions as you go through the process... call your REALTOR.