On closing day, you officially take ownership of the Washington home that you offered to purchase from the current owner. However, there is no guarantee that the closing process is going to go smoothly. If there are any problems with the title, issues with getting a mortgage or the seller simply changes his or her mind, you may not be able to take possession of the property.
There is a chance that the title was forged, altered or improperly recorded. This means that the current owner of the home doesn’t have the right to transfer ownership to you at closing. Ideally, your property and real estate law attorney will do a title search after your offer is accepted to discover any potential issues before they derail the sale.
It’s important to understand that loan approval is based on your financial profile at the time a lender evaluates it. If anything changes before the sale officially closes, it could result in a lender walking away from the transaction. This is why you’re not supposed to make large purchases, quit your job or make other drastic decisions until you’re the official owner of a home.
A seller may walk away from a deal because he or she was unable to close on his or her next property. Alternatively, the current owner may have decided that the home had too much sentimental value to sell. In the event that the seller changes his or her mind, you may be entitled to your earnest money back. You may also have grounds for a lawsuit against the current owner.
Ideally, you will hire an attorney to assist with the home buying process. After you have made an offer, he or she may be able to do a title search, review mortgage documents or take other steps to maximize the chances of a timely closing.