- Buyers closing on a home may be tempted to buy new appliances or furniture right away.
- Realtors say overspending, opening new lines of credit, or co-signing someone else’s loan can keep you from closing.
- Also avoid quitting or changing jobs, as this sets off red flags for the underwriter.
- Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.
Once you’ve made an offer on your dream home, the weeks spent waiting for closing can be brutal.
When deciding whether or not to give you a mortgage, lenders scrutinize your accounts and credit history with a fine-toothed comb. You might be tempted to celebrate early by buying new furniture or splurging on an I-just-bought-a-new-home celebration purchase, but real estate agents recommend waiting until you actually close the house to do something big.
Here are seven common mistakes homebuyers make during the closing process that hurt their chances of getting their dream home.
1. Open a new line of credit
Realtor Cedric Stewart at Surroundings RG in Washington, DC, says homebuyers generally have more access to credit before buying a home because they’ve likely spent time paying off debt and cleaning up their credit history as much as possible.
It can be tempting to open a new credit card, but Stewart says, “If [the lender] sees you reaching out for more credit, it could trigger questions about your financial situation that reduce your chances of owning your dream home. »
2. Buy new appliances or furniture
Stewart also says buying new furniture or appliances, like an HVAC for a home that needs fixing, can also hurt your chances of closing a home. “A $10,000 bill for beds and sofas can make underwriters angry and upset your debt profile,” he explains, adding, “It’s the right thing to do for your home, just in the wrong moment.”
3. Buy or rent a car
Similar to opening new lines of credit or making major expenses for furniture and appliances, buying or leasing a car during the closing process can alert lenders and hurt your business closing process. ‘a house.
4. Co-sign someone else’s loans
Stewart shares a story with Insider about a client who had to walk away from a deal because he co-signed a friend’s car loan a few months ago.
“We were at the settlement table and the loan officer said there was a problem,” Steward said. “The client ruined his chances of becoming a first-time home buyer because he wanted to help a friend with bad credit.” Do not co-sign anyone else’s loans or designate anyone as an authorized user of your credit card during this time.
5. Quit your job or move to a new job
“The lender has equated your job and your ability to repay the loan based on your current job,” Realtor Chantay-Clark Bridges at eXp Realty of California, Inc. tells Insider. Any sudden change in your job can attract the attention of the lender and hurt your chances of closing the house.
6. Listen to your friends instead of your real estate agent
“Instead of trusting their real estate agent who has years and years of experience closing houses, they listen to their cousin or the colleague in the cubicle next to them – who in turn have given very bad advice,” Bridges says.
For example, a family member might tell you to play hardball with closing costs regardless of your neighborhood’s competitiveness, and their advice might cost you the house. While your cousin or colleague might have done something to get their own mortgage, the same exact advice might not work for your own process.
7. Pay off student loans or other large debts
Real estate agent Kate Ziegler at Arborview Realty in Boston, MA and Coldwell Banker Lifestyles in New London, NH says you should avoid “what might otherwise appear to be positive credit changes,” such as paying off your student loans all at once.
She continues, “Unless your lender specifically advises you of this course of action, credit changes combined with a drop in your savings can be a red flag for underwriters when they do a final check just before closing. .