It goes without saying that buying a house is a large investment, but some buyers don’t understand how committed they must be to the process, especially when it’s a couple purchasing. If they’re married or in a serious partnership, chances are that they trust their other half with many things. Otherwise, why would they be in a relationship? Some couples are so committed to each other that they feel comfortable letting one or the other do the shopping, if it’s loan packages or the home itself, and there’s really nothing wrong with that, because couples learn what each other’s weaknesses and strengths are. However, after all the picking is done, both buyers need to be present, because both are making a financial commitment that require them to sign legally binding documents.
We’ve seen it in the past – one partner’s job requires them to be away from home or work long hours and the other partner is eager to get the home purchased, so they start taking shortcuts. Buyers need to understand that shortcuts can lead to delays in the closing or even a loss of financing.
For example, the loan papers are mailed to the buyers for signing and one buyer decides to not only sign for themselves but their partner, as well. If the loan originator suspects this has been done, either due to the same handwriting or signatures that are inconsistent with previous documents, they may require a new application be completed or they may choose to deny the loan. Signing loan documents for another person is fraud. The buyer may argue that their partner was aware of their actions, but couldn’t be present to sign; however, the loan originator will suspect that their partner is not in fact aware of the loan or the terms. It may even lead to charges of fraud, which no one wants to risk over some impatience.
Before securing a loan, both buyers need to take action to be present for key steps in the buying process. That includes signing the documents for the mortgage application and loan package, and the final closing paperwork. They need to be mindful that these responsibilities exist or there will be delays in the closing. They also need to honestly communicate with their Realtor about their schedules, because well-chosen Due Diligence and Closing Dates can prevent future issues. They may also have other options for signing available to them.
We also believe it’s very important that both buyers see the home prior to making an offer. While one partner may handle the home and décor, both are making a financial investment (Remember: One to Buy, Two to Sell) that will not only require upkeep, but will carry a resale value. So, this isn’t just a case of keeping the other half happy with their desired aesthetics. We don’t want a buyer making an offer on a home they hate or don’t feel will have a good return later down the road.
As always, the key to a smooth purchase is communication and good planning. If you have any questions about buying a home in the Wilmington area, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ve been buying and selling homes in Southeastern North Carolina for many years, and have the experience needed to make the buying process an enjoyable one.