Tennessee’s low property taxes and lack of a state income tax make it attractive for a first-time home buyer. The real estate purchase experience can, however, appear somewhat complicated at first, especially concerning the closing. 

The complexities of a real estate purchase should not stand in the way of becoming a property owner. Here are some tips that may help smooth out the closing process. 

Be prepared in advance for closing costs 

As noted by Bankrate, closing costs can account for between 2% and 4% of the price of the home. This reflects an additional amount that may require bringing a cashier’s check to the closing or wiring the required amount into an escrow fund. 

You can learn what to expect in closing costs with a Loan Estimate Form. The form includes a section titled “Closing Cost Details.” Your mortgage lender must provide you with the form no more than three days after you apply. 

Look for ways to reduce your closing costs 

Look for a Closing Cost subsection titled “Services You Can Shop For” on your Loan Estimate Form. You will find items listed here such as pest inspection, survey and title search fees. You can shop around for a better price for any item listed. There is no obligation to use services provided by your mortgage lender; you may lower your closing costs by finding your own vendors. 

Under certain conditions, sellers will cover some of the closing costs. Depending on how well the buyer-seller negotiations went in your favor, you may see some “seller credits” that reduce your out-of-pocket obligations. 

Consider financing the closing costs 

If closing costs represent an unforeseen budget crunch, see if your mortgage lender can fold them into the loan. This will increase the size of the monthly payments, but it could also open up more cash for unexpected moving expenses. 

Review all closing documents carefully 

Several documents require signing before an official closing. Ensuring that you have a well-prepared purchasing agreement may protect you from costly surprises after you take ownership of a property.