How do I prepare for closing?

Congratulations! You are almost to the finish line and officially a homeowner.  Now what do you do?  Jennifer Livingston breaks it down:

You will need to attend closing so please try to keep your day free until you get a time.  It will usually take place at the Buyers location of choice (Realtors office or Title Company). Your closer will be contacting you with some information and will also need information from you.

Your loan officer will need you to sign some papers, and they will let you know how much money is required in order to close. You will need to have the money for your down payment in the form of a cashier’s check, made payable to the title company. In some cases it will need to be in the form of a wire. Your Cardinal Realtor will let you know which one it will be as you get closer to closing. You will also need your driver’s license, and a list of your residences over the past 10 years. The closing usually takes 1 hour or less.

You will need to get home owner’s insurance on the property. If you are purchasing a townhome or condo that has hazard insurance included in the association fee, you can tell your insurance company that you only need insurance on the interior and your belongings, similar to renter’s insurance. You may get a deal through whichever company insures your car. If you need any referrals, please ask your Cardinal Realtor. You will need to pay one year in full, and have a paid receipt at closing. Your loan officer may want this ahead of time, so they can include it in their package to the closer.

Your Cardinal Realtor will need to set up a time for the final walk-through; you do this to make sure the home is in the same condition as it was when you wrote the offer. Typically, this is done the day before closing, or on the same morning. Your Cardinal Realtor will contact you as it gets closer to the date, in order to set this up.

You will also want to set up Gas, Electric, Water/Sewer services and also Sanitation. Once again, if you are purchasing a townhome or condo some of this may be included in your association fee.
All of the above should be completed prior to closing. It will require a few phone calls, so you will want to get a jump start before closing.
One other tip: A good site to remind homeowners of routine maintenance, etc.: You have the option to sign up for monthly newsletters and reminders.