Five Things Buyers Should Never, Ever Say When Closing on a Home

By the time home buyers make it to the closing, it’s smooth sailing, right? Wrong. For home buyers, the adage “loose lips sink ships” is pretty spot-on as a best strategy at settlement. Clearly, there’s a lot at stake. You certainly don’t want to say something at closing that could keep the deal from going through. To to raise the odds that all goes smoothly, warns about five things you should never, ever say at closing.

1. I quit my job this morning

Before a mortgage lender approves your loan, the company’s underwriter will do a final review to verify that your employment status hasn’t changed since you were pre-approved for the mortgage. That usually takes place a couple of days before closing, so if you just quit, your lender might be caught by surprise. Surprise is not good. In fact, you might need to sign a document at closing confirming that your employment status has not changed.

2. I can’t wait to get all the new furniture we bought

Before approving the loan, your mortgage lender also will check to make sure your credit score remains unchanged before closing. If your score has changed, the company might raise your loan’s interest rate. Using a credit card to buy furniture or getting a loan to buy a car could negatively affect your credit score. And, sadly, credit-damaging behavior is a common mistake. A recent TransUnion study found that consumers increase their credit card spending as much as two or three times their previous rate just before they close on a home. So, at closing, it’s best to avoid talking about anything that could have potentially affected your credit score.

3. I can’t believe the appraisal came in $20,000 above the sales price

A home appraisal is where a lender assesses how much the home is worth. This price might be different from what you’re paying for the place. If the appraised value is higher, that means you got a bargain. However, don’t share this news with the home seller since it means he clearly didn’t luck out in this transaction, and sold his home for less than what it might really be worth. As the home buyer, you aren’t required to share with the seller what the home appraised for, so be sure to keep that information private.

4. I can’t wait to gut the house

If you’re planning to remodel the property, just don’t mention that in front of the seller. Many home sellers still have an emotional attachment to their house; they don’t want to hear that you’re going to walk in and start tearing down walls.

5. Could you remove that swing set from the backyard?

Closing is neither the time nor place to make last-minute requests of the seller, unless there’s an issue related to home-inspection repairs that you found during the final walk-through. However, if you failed to make your offer contingent on something, it’s your rather than the seller’s responsibility to take care of it.

Sign up to get “My Two Cents.” It’s a blog where I share my thoughts on everything related to real estate finance.