Closing escrow on a your new home is the final curve in a long and winding road to home ownership. By this point, most buyers are kind of like seniors in college - a little nervous about the last few days, kind of sick of the whole process, but basically just ready to get it over with and get on with life. Here are a few things that help everything go more smoothly and make closing escrow easier than babysitting. Heck, let's make it fun by putting closing tips together with babysitting tips. That way we'll change two babies with one diaper *snicker*.
Know what to expect going into it.
This applies for your home closing and babysitting. If you are about to babysit a two year old, it's much different than babysitting a twelve year old. You'll have to plan accordingly. The same goes for closing. If you are closing a primary residential property it's one thing. If you are doing a 1031 tax exchange on commercial property that is currently leased and has an assumable loan, that's something different entirely. Get your head prepared for the situation in front of you. Let's assume it's a pretty easy babysitting gig, a.k.a. a primary residence, residential closing.
Most babysitters are friends or family members but some come from a friend of a friend or a service. These sitters need some ID right? It's sort of the same with closing escrow. Bring two forms of ID - your driver's licence and something else like a social security card. If you want to really play it silly safe, bring three. Title companies and lenders need to know you are who you say you are when signing official documents.
You probably need some money.
Babysitters may get stuck with cheap parents that won't spring for pizza. Bring yourself some dough (cash, not pizza dough). With regard to closing your property, don't bring cash, they generally won't take it. Your Realtor should get a HUD-1 before closing. This explains all the expenses in detail so you know how much money is not covered by the seller or by your lender. You take that number and get a wire transfer the morning of your closing or bring a cashier's check. FYI, title companies don't take personal checks. Although, I have seen some take a check under $500.00 to cover unexpected costs that were agreed upon at the closing table.
Stretch ahead of time and keep some perspective.
Babysitting may be a little unnerving at times, but if you like kids, it can be a load of fun. Same thing with closing day. You and your family are starting a new life in a new home. Look at closing as the first day of a great adventure. Okay, so that's not just like babysitting but I drew as many parallels as I could. With babysitting, I'd stretch everything, with closing, I'd just stretch my signing hand. Happy closing/sitting!