Tips on the Real Estate Closing Process

Before you sign on the dotted lines, ask yourself these six crucial questions.


Make sure you have done your due diligence and inspected the property thoroughly. This could be the biggest investment you ever make (emotionally as well as financially) so know what you are getting yourself into before you seal the deal.


Before you close you will get a stack of papers ten reams high and you will be signing and initialing every last one of them. Make sure you know what you are signing – is the interest rate the attractive one you were quoted when they were begging for your business? Do you have a pre-payment penalty? When is your first payment due and where do you send it? All important questions to ask and have answers to before you seal the deal.


You may have your loan in place, but you will probably have to come out of pocket to close on your new dream home so where is that money coming from and how is getting from THERE to the escrow account in order to close on time?

Make sure all parties involved have the proper information to wire funds, pick up checks and get it done so your close is not held up while you are already paying interest on your funded loan.


Have you transferred the utilities into your name and avoided unnecessary costs to have them turned on if there is a gap between you and the previous owner’s shut-off date? Ensure that you have addresses, account numbers and all contact information for the following:

-Utilities (electric, gas, water, trash)
-Property taxes
-Homeowner’s insurance

And make sure your escrow officer has all the information they need (such as contact info for your insurance company) in plenty of time before the close.


You may have negotiated some repairs during escrow – did you receive a credit for them and is it on your closing statement? Did the previous owner complete the repairs they agreed to do and are they up to code?

If you have realtor, rely on them to hold the seller accountable.  Make sure you have checked it out before your close as there is very little recourse once the previous owner has your money!


When it comes time to close on your property, it may seem as if everyone and his brother is waiting for a handout. They are. All these fees together make up your CLOSING COSTS.

These charges can and do vary widely, but don’t be surprised to see these charges:

Escrow fees — Who will pay escrow fees (buyer or seller) is usually decided during the negotiation on the sale. Splitting these fees is common.

Credit check — Yes, you have to pay for your lender to verify your loan-worthiness (seems like a cost they might absorb, but alas, no).

Document prep fee — Again, one might assume that the mortgage and escrow companies could pay their own employees to prepare your documents, but once more you get the honors.

Title insurance — A lender won’t give you any money without guaranteeing its interest in the property. Title insurance covers you in the unlikely event that there’s a blemish on your property’s title history.

Miscellaneous fees — A courier is employed to transport your paperwork from the title company to the escrow company. Money is wired from your lender to your seller’s account. Your lender incurs an underwriting fee and passes it on to you. Count on a few hundred dollars worth of “misc. fees.”

Closing on a new home is exciting, and can be stressful. Advantage Real Estate agents are here to ease you through the process, and answer all the questions you may have. Whether you are buying and/or selling, we’re here for you in Randolph and surrounding counties. Give us a call at our office in Moberly, MO. 660-263-3393

6 Tasks That Every Smart Homeowner Does in October

Why now’s the perfect time to replace appliances.

The temps are starting to drop; the smell of wood smoke is in the air.

Temps are more chilly than warm. That’s when veteran homeowners know it’s time to do these six things if they want to avoid grief or overspending.

#1 Buy Appliances

Whisper to them. Do a rain dance. Whatever it takes to get your old appliances to wait until fall to go on the fritz. Manufacturers bring out their latest models during the fall, and store owners offer big sales on appliances they want to move out — like last year’s most popular dishwasher. So September, October, and November are great months to buy.

But October is right in the middle, when there’s still plenty of selection and retailers might be more willing to haggle.

Refrigerators are the exception because new models don’t come out until spring.

#2 Switch the Direction of Ceiling Fans

Most have a switch to allow the ceiling fan blades to rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise. One way pushes air down to create a nice breeze, and the other sucks air up, helping to distribute the heat. Think counterclockwise when it’s warm and clockwise when it’s cool.

#3 Clean Windows

Daylight is about to dwindle so why not get as much of it as you can? Clean off all the bugs, dust, and grime from your windows while the weather is still warm enough to do so. For streak-free windows, combine ¼-cup of white vinegar with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of eco-friendly dish detergent and 2 cups of water.

If window cleaning isn’t a DIY job at your home, schedule a professional window cleaner (who, unlike most of us, is able to do it even when temperatures plummet) before the end of the month. The closer it gets to the holidays, the busier they get. Bright sunshine on winter’s darkest days makes it totally worthwhile.

#4 Schedule a Heating Unit Checkup

To ensure your family will be able to feel their toes all winter, schedule early in the month for your heating unit to be serviced. As temperatures drop, service companies get busier.

Whether you hire your heating company’s technician or a contractor to do it, they’ll clean soot and corrosion from the combustion chamber, replace filters, and check the whole system for leaks, clogs, and damage. Nothing pairs with a pending blizzard better than the assurance that you’ll be weathering the storm with warm air piping through the vents and cocoa in hand.

#5 Get a Chimney Sweep to Inspect the Fireplace

It’s time to dust off and sweep the chimney! Best to hire someone who knows wood-burning fireplaces. A professional chimney sweep will ensure your wood-burning fireplace burns more efficiently and will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter. So, yeah, it’s pretty important.

Tip: If you don’t already have a chimney cap, this is also the time to add one to stop wild outdoor critters from crawling down it — and (yikes!) into your house.

#6 Insulate Exposed Pipes

If you’ve ever dealt with a burst pipe, you know it’s a sad, wet disaster worth preventing. To avoid the stressful (not to mention, expensive) ordeal, prep your home’s exposed pipes with foam or heat tape — choosing which one will work best with your climate. Remember: The most at-risk pipes are often those in unheated areas such as an attics, crawl spaces, and garages, so secure those first.

It’s that time of year to prepare for upcoming Winter. If you’re considering selling and/or purchasing, let us help take the stress off of the process. Our agents are professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Call our office in Moberly MO, and let’s get started. 660-263-3393

Grey Is Out, Earth Tones Are In

Shades of tan were all the rage for years. It was impossible to find a home that had any ‘modern’ paint styles when wood finishes and brown decor were everywhere. Over the last half decade, there was a major shift to sleek white or gray walls paired with metal finishes. While it seemed like that trend would stick around for a while, it seems that home decor is slowly shifting back to earthy tones. If you love those hues or soft pastels, here are some colors that might inspire your next paint job!

Earth Tones

2020 has been the time to let nature inspire design. As many of us look for more ways to unplug in the time of COVID, shades of chestnut, burgundy, and deep olive green can offer a natural element to your indoor space. Try adding a dark earth tone to an accent wall as an easy way to introduce color into a neutral room.

Delicate Pastels

Soft pastels such as pale pinks, greens, and blues can bring peace to a space and give your eyes a chance to relax. Pastel colors with gray undertones can help diffuse the color saturation, making it softer on the eye. Try pastels on cabinetry, interior doors, or a bathroom vanity where the area already has neutral tones.

Call Advantage Real Estate and let our agents help you with getting your home ready to sell, or if you’re in the market to purchase, We are here for you serving Randolph and surrounding counties in Missouri.

What Is The Goal Of Staging Your Home?

What Is The Goal Of Staging Your Home?

When the real estate market turns sluggish, you may have to take steps to set your home apart from others. It won’t be enough to just put out a for-sale sign and wait for potential buyers. One way that homeowners can sell their homes more speedily is by home staging, which can have the added benefit of pushing up the selling price of your home. Basically, staging consists of arranging your home’s décor and furniture in such a way as to make the home have more of an appeal to prospective buyers.

In some cases, home staging can be a relatively simple and inexpensive undertaking. You may be comfortable with just cleaning up your home and removing all day-to-day items. On the other hand, you may want to consider investing a more substantial amount of time and money into your home staging project. The main benefit of investing in landscaping, painting and new furniture is that a potential buyer will come away from a visit to your home with a better idea of how his or her new home will look.

Home staging has been around since the 1970s. Although it began on the West Coast of the United States, the concept eventually spread to the rest of the country. There’s more to home staging than just decorating. The general idea behind home staging is to depersonalize your home so that a prospective buyer will be able to imagine him or herself living in it. By removing piles of newspapers and family photos, you’ll be able to increase your home’s appeal. Another tip is to choose neutral colors for your home’s carpet and paint. If it’s within your budget, you’ll also want to think about buying new appliances. Although many people do a good job of staging their own homes, you can also hire a professional to do the job for you.

Preparing the home for a potential buyer involves redecorating, rearranging furniture, cleaning and other aesthetic strategies to present the home in the best possible light. Advantage Real Estate agents can guide you with staging your home and getting the best price for your property. We serve in Randolph and surrounding counties in Missouri. Give us a call and let us earn your business! 660-263-3393