Category Archives: Buyers

Relocating to MorningStar and Heritage International Ministries?

Whether you’re moving across town or around the world to join the church body or team at Morningstar or Heritage International Ministries, as your preferred RelocationTM Specialist, I’m here to help.  There are many great real estate options available, whether you’ll have students at Comenius School of Creative Leadership, or be living on or off campus as a student of MorningStar University, a resident of Heritage Court, or a resident of the Refirement Center, Heritage Towers, the premiere, luxury high rise active adult community.

Whatever your need, short or long-term rental, or purchase at any price point, the Fort Mill, Lancaster, Tega Cay, and South Charlotte areas has much to offer.  

Local real estate values are great, and selection is high.  Call me and we’ll discuss your big picture.  I’ll begin sending properties that match your criteria to inform you of market values and arrange a discovery tour.

I recently toured the model at Heritage Court, a beautiful, upgraded private residence with well-appointed features and WOW! amenities.  From luxurious, sustainable products and green features such as granite countertops and floor-to-ceiling windows, the unit is top of the line.  Two floor plan choices are available: the Bethesda at 784 square feet, one bed and 1.5 bath, and the Bethany, 1170 square feet with 2 beds, 2 baths.  Both floor plans are available on the first and fourth floors.  Pre-construction pricing ends soon.

Reservations are now being taken for the Heritage Towers, the on-campus high rise adult community with luxury fit, finish and amenities that can’t be matched anywhere in the area.  The concept isn’t just a luxury home.  Whether it will be your primary home or your second home, the goal of Heritage Towers is to gather a like-spirited body of believers together to bond in fellowship to advance your calling and its fit with the goal of the Kingdom.  But the beautiful, upgraded, maintenance-free homes with more than 10 floor plan choices, located near shopping, dining, golfing, and the highway aren’t bad, either! 

Whether you’ll make either the Heritage Court or Towers your primary or second residence, you’ll be equally impressed and blessed with the value, both practical and spiritual, you’ll receive.

Please contact me and I’ll schedule a personal tour of the ministry campus and model home for you.  I look forward to meeting with you.  Ask me about special lodging rates when you schedule your tour and select to work with me as your expert buyer’s agent.

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Chrystal is a REALTOR® and principal of The Safari Group, a local, homegrown real estate firm, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market, including New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Luxury Homes and GREEN Features.  She is one of the fewer than 30 internationally recognized EcoBrokers® in the Charlotte Metro Market, offering guidelines to assist home buyers and sellers in evaluating true green features and their benefits to real property value, home ownership, tax savings and mortgage closing table capital contributions.  Chrystal is backed by certified and insured professionals to assess and protect your energy utilizing investments.  Contact her at 704.562.1030 TXT/PH or

YOU COULD RECEIVE $23,000 to buy this home!*

400 North Ridge Avenue, Kannaplois, North Carolina is a longtime family home new to the market.  It’s priced well below tax value for quick sale!

This home is approximately 1500 square feet and has updates including newer roof, newer kitchen, central heating and air conditioning. Imagine working in the Full Basement with Wired Workshop with ample Storage, and sharing meals and making memories in the Large Eat-In Kitchen with Breakfast Island, Wrap-around Deck entered from both the Utility/Mudroom and Master Bedroom, En Suite 3rd Bedroom w/Shower Bath, Formal Living Room with fireplace and Dining Room.  With Hardwoods throughout under the carpet, buyers can further update with your preferences. Sold As-Is.

Walk to BioTech Campus, Close to Highway 85, and moments away from shopping, dining, and entertainment.

This home qualifies for the Renovation Loan— receive up to $11,000 @closing to update with great 30 year fixed rates!  With Buyer Incentives from the seller and the government, as well as a special offering if you use me as your buyer’s agent, YOU COULD RECEIVE $23,000 to buy this home!*  

Buyers who are under contract by February 28, 2010, with me as Exclusive Buyer’s Agent may qualify for Peters & Associates, Inc., Cash Back @Closing Buyers Rebate Program* which can provide significant cash savings to you.  This Cash Back is reflected on the HUD Statement and can save you a considerable amount of closing costs toward items such as Legal fees, Disbursements, Property Tax, Title Insurance, Moving costs and others where applicable.

 While you wait for the Government’s Tax Credit, please accept the limited time offer of 33% Cash Back @Closing in appreciation of your business.  I hope it encourages you to work with me soon.

To calculate the potential cash back, multiply the Sales Price by 3% (where the Seller’s Agent pays the Buyer’s Agent 3% commission of the Selling price) and that subtotal by 33% for my Cash Back Buyer Rebate contribution on your behalf. 

EX: $110,000 sales price x .03 (Firm’s Buyer’s Agent Split of 3%) = $3300 x .33 = $1089 CASH Back Rebate amount.  This would be guaranteed up front in writing for you as part of my Buyer Agency Agreement with you.

I take pride in providing you the best possible real estate experience bringing my expertise and customer service to the transaction, & now you can saving money, too.

Contact me now and let’s discuss your next move! 

At your service,

Chrystal Safari

*$23,000 includes these items up to amounts given: Seller Paid Closing Costs of
$3,300, Cash Back @Closing Buyer’s Incentive of $1,089 (above), Rehab Loan Amount $11,000, & Tax Credit of $8,000 (expires April 30, 2010).  Restrictions apply.  Call for complete details.

Offering subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. 

How Good is Your Good Faith Estimate?

RESPA_LogoThe Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, known as RESPA, requires mortgage lenders and brokers to provide a good faith estimate to customers outlining a list of fees and costs associated with obtaining a mortgage within three business days of applying for a loan. RESPA outlaws kickbacks that increase the cost of settlement services. RESPA is a HUD consumer protection statute designed to help home buyers be better shoppers in the home loan buying process, and is enforced by HUD.

A move has been made to make the Good Faith Estimate a standard form which Comparing-Mortgage-Santa-Ro1makes it easier for buyers to compare different brokers’ and lenders’ quotes and charges associated with closing the transaction.

The closing or settlement costs are the mortgage fees associated with the purchase and closing on a property and should include every expense associated with a mortgage loan, including title insurance, taxes, inspections, and other charges required to close the loan.

A good Good Faith Estimate should be fully itemized and include fees which fall into six basic categories:

• Loan fees, including loan origination fees which should not exceed 2%, appraisal, credit report, etc.

• Fees to be paid in advance, such as interest on the loan

• Reserves the lender requires to be escrowed, such as 1 – 3 months homeowner’s insurance and 1 – 3 months pro-rated real property tax if those items are escrowed with the monthly mortgage

• Title charges, such as attorney fees and title insurance

• Government charges, such as recordation fees

• Additional charges, such as survey, home inspection, wood destroying organism inspection, and home warranty are usually provided by your REALTOR® and may not be reflected on the Good Faith Estimate originated by your lender representative.

The Good Faith Estimate also includes information that is not an estimate, but states facts such as the type of loan applied for, such as VA, FHA or Conventional; proposed mortgage payment including escrowed amounts, if any; total loan amount; down payment; seller paid closing costs or agent rebates; and interest rate.

The Good Faith Estimate is only an estimate. Though it’s not uncommon for buyers to wait in the bank parking lot before closing for final figures from the attorney’s office, the final closing costs can easily be calculated by an astute real estate broker to assure your peace of mind in the final days prior to closing.

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chrystal (2)As an accomplished real estate broker, Chrystal Safari has earned the internationally recognized EcoBroker® Certification which allows her to better serve your wants, desires, and motivations to bring added benefits to your every real estate transaction. As your Preferred Real Estate Broker, she provides a new level of service in addition to already full-service standard real estate offerings. As one of only 35 certified EcoBrokers® in the Charlotte Metro area, she offers guidelines to assist home buyers and sellers in evaluating true green features and their benefits to real property value, home ownership, tax savings and mortgage closing table capital contributions. After over 25 years of dedication to stream and undeveloped land clean up, storm drain marking, and as an avid whole house recycler, Chrystal finds it very fulfilling and exciting to have mastered this program to become one of a select few certified EcoBrokers® in our market! Call her to add the Environmental, Energy, and Green Market Advantage in your next transaction.

Why Hire a Full-time, Experienced Buyer’s Agent?

The fact is, real estate law is complicated and ever-changing. It is not easy for the average individual to keep up with the constant transformations of the market. While it is easy to get lots of information about the market, including specific values, when it comes to protecting your best interests, your real estate professional knows how to evaluate that information to determine the true value a property holds for you based on your specific criteria and short and long-term objectives.

In addition, there are increasing numbers of inexperienced agents providing inaccurate real estate advice and making promises regarding getting you the best deal on a property that no one can assure, resulting in serious financial consequences to you.

A good real estate broker does research, understands the complexities of a real estate transaction, and remains on the forefront of new changes and updates in the industry. In addition, he or she will present clients with a realistic assessment of their individual real estate matters while addressing their concerns and questions. Make sure your Buyer’s Agent is in good-standing with their state real estate commission and are members of the local REALTOR® board with positive personal testimonies from real clients.  Remember, there’s a top ten percent and bottom ten percent in every field.

Real estate is local.  In the state of North Carolina, a well known axiom is true: Buyer Beware.  In North Carolina, until a buyer is formally contracted with a real estate agent as Buyer Agent, that agent is considered to be a seller’s agent, representing sellers in general.  If you’ve toured a home with a real estate agent without benefit of having that Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement contract in place, you had no representation.  However, once you are under contract with an Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement, that contract changes the relationship you have with your real estate agent.  Now your Buyer’s Agent’s fiduciary responsibilities are to you alone, unless dual agency exists.  Dual agency has two facets.  Dual agency exists if the real estate broker (a) is also the listing agent of a property you’re considering, or (b) if the property you’re touring and may be considering is listed by any member of your Buyer Agent’s firm.  Is it possible to assure that the agent you’re working with represents you and you alone?  Absolutely.  The key is to contract with your real estate agent at the first possible opportunity to put in place the buyer agency agreement so that the agent’s fiduciary responsibility is to you alone.

An Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement also prevents a third party from forcing you to perhaps also pay them for procuring cause if they introduced you to a property and could prove they continued the conversation that led you to purchase even while contracted with your preferred and contracted Buyer’s Agent.  It attempts to eliminate the scenario where one party does all the work and a side party comes in and makes claim to the deal.

Too commonly, a buyer new to the market looks at a first property, perhaps with Agent A who opens the door and says welcome, but the client is unsure of the deal and doesn’t proceed with an offer.  The buyer then spends weeks with Agent B looking at everything else meeting his criteria, getting a grasp of values, strategy of return on investment (ROI), strong offer strategies, appreciation potential, etc. with Agent B and goes back to property one for a purchase…the biggest issue and problem that the real estate commission handles every year is procuring cause: who made the deal on property one happen?  Your formal relationship with your Buyer’s Agent puts all agents on legal notice to send all information and make all contact through your agent, who works exclusively on your behalf to protect your best interests.

To protect your best interests from contract to close, make sure you employ an experienced and knowledgeable Buyer’s Agent in every real estate transaction.  This professional service is a free service to you.  Builders and sellers whose homes are listed in the MLS system already include this fee.  Who’d pay thousands of dollars for a professional service and then not utilize it to protect his best interests?

My Commitment to You

As your Buyer’s Agent, I commit to provide well-planned tours of numerous communities, neighborhoods, and homes that meet the guidelines you set, and to represent your best interests from contract to close.  I pledge to:

◊ Communicate clearly and provide information pertinent to your housing, price range and special needs.

◊ Adapt to meet your changing needs as you reset priorities.

◊ Use a well organized, systematic approach to the process that helps you maintain focus on your personal priorities of housing, education, lifestyle, price range, commute time, and family needs.

◊ Advise you on issues that are common to this market that may affect your decisions.

◊ Approach For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBO’s), Auction Representatives, and Custom builders on your behalf to arrange for home tours.

◊ Provide you with the history of the listing, recent sales in the neighborhood of like properties, flood plain information and, in general, give you the information that you will need to make the most educated decision.

◊ Provide you with the details on how to make the strongest offer on a home, negotiate the offer for you, set up and attend inspections, and negotiate the request for repair details.

◊  If building is your preference, I’ll guide you through the lot selection process, interview solvent builders of good repute who build in your price point, and work with you from contract to close, including attending all meetings with the architect, builder, and materials selection, etc., overseeing the process in the smallest detail.

◊ Assure that you receive and approve the HOA Covenants and Restrictions, if applicable, prior to going under contract.

◊ Complete all the necessary paperwork required by both state law and the real estate firm.

◊ Provide lender contacts and discuss financing options and strategies.

◊ Set up the closing with the attorney and provide all necessary contract documents needed, and let you and the listing agent know time and date for closing.

◊ Contact and follow up regularly with the lender to ask what is needed.

◊ Provide contact with several insurance providers so you can set up Homeowner’s Insurance.

◊  Accompany you through final walk-thru to confirm repairs have been completed in a workman-like manner.

◊  Follow up with lender to make sure loan package has arrived.

◊  Make sure everyone is ready for closing and know what is needed.

◊  Review and explain HUD statement prior to closing.

◊  Accompany you to closing.

I look forward to working with you as you pursue the joys of home ownership.

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A Charlotte area native, and licensed in NC & SC, Chrystal is very experienced with international relocation, home buying and selling and with rental portfolio development and holds MASTERS Designation specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology and is a member in good standing with Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

Builder Wade Jurney expands to Charlotte by taking C.P. Morgan lots

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Charlotte Business Journal’s Laura Youngs reports that Triad builder Wade Jurney is expanding to Charlotte by taking C.P. Morgan lots.

Wade Jurney, president of the Greensboro-based company, says he has 351 lots — all from defunct Indiana builder C.P. Morgan Homes Inc. — under contract throughout 30 Charlotte neighborhoods.

The company also has 52 C.P. Morgan lots under contract in the Triad, including five developments in Rural Hall, Burlington, Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Jurney says he hopes to close by early July on all of the properties. Three model homes in Charlotte were part of the deal and already have opened as sales centers for Jurney Homes.

Jurney declines to give the price of the lots, since the sale is not complete. But he says he is getting a discount on the $33,000 per lot that C.P. Morgan paid. Jurney is putting together an equity group that would finance the majority of the project. An official with C.P. Morgan confirms the deal is pending.

So far, three sales consultants have been hired to run the Charlotte offices, and Jurney has added a construction superintendent here.

By the fourth quarter, the company plans to have up to 13 employees in Charlotte.

Jurney says the company will offer the same starter-home product it builds in the Triad, which often runs between $100,000 and $200,000.

He says he harbors some concerns about expanding into Charlotte, which has been hit hard by losses in the banking sector and foreclosure issues.

However, he says he wanted to move now to take advantage of discounts, as well as a strong available labor pool. The expansion also will mean Charlotte and the Triad will share fixed overhead costs, such as administrative operations.

Jurney hopes his homes will appeal to the sought-after first-time buyer, who is eligible for an $8,000 tax credit before year end.

“We’re going in looking to be the lowest-priced and best-value builder,” he says.

Jurney is one of several Triad builders looking to take advantage of bargains on land in a slow market. With some builders going out of business and their property left behind, development and construction firms that have survived the downturn are increasingly interested in buying.

‘With complimentary elevations and modern floor plans, Wade Jurney looks like a good fit for current homeowners in existing CP Morgan communities,’ adds Chrystal Safari of Peters & Associates, a boutique firm specializing in luxury homes in the Charlotte Metro area.

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A Charlotte area native, and licensed in NC & SC, Chrystal is very experienced with international relocation, home buying and selling and with rental portfolio development and holds MASTERS Designation specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology and is a member in good standing with Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

The Two Latest Signs Housing Is Recovering

The Wall Street Journal reports that Toll Brothers Inc. and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., said their losses were shrinking compared to last year because buyers are coming back to the market announces James Hagerty and John Spence. 

Other encouraging news came from HIS Global Insight, a research firm, which said home prices fell on average at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter in 199 of 330 metropolitan areas. That compares with a 12.5 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 in 312 metropolitan areas.

“While it’s too early to see a bottom of this housing downturn,” the report said, the latest data “may signal that the market is beginning to stabilize.”

‘I am personally experiencing meeting up with buyers who were looking in 2007, but who did not close on anything, coming back around to begin the search in earnest,’ adds Chrystal Safari of Peters and Associates, Inc.

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Join me for another of the  Luxury Living Events this weekend in Montreux Old World Estates off Youngblood Road in south Charlotte and enjoy a ‘Meet the Builder’ Wine and Cheese.  See,

Your Rich Uncle Sam Wants to Give You $8,000!*

IRS.Gov reports that for 2009 owner occupant home purchases, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expanded the first-time homebuyer credit by increasing the credit amount to $8,000 for purchases made in 2009 before Dec. 1, 2009.

A first-time home buyer is one who has not owned a home in the last three years.

*For home purchased in 2009, the credit does not have to be paid back unless the home ceases to be the taxpayer’s main residence within a three-year period following the purchase.

First-time homebuyers who purchase a home in 2009 can claim the credit on either a 2008 tax return, due April 15, 2009, or a 2009 tax return, due April 15, 2010. The credit may not be claimed before the closing date. But, if the closing occurs after April 15, 2009, a taxpayer can still claim it on a 2008 tax return by requesting an extension of time to file or by filing an amended return. News release 2009-27 has more information on these options.

 The IRS reminds taxpayers the amount of the credit begins to phase out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is more than $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers. Taxpayers can claim 10 percent of the purchase price up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married individuals filing separately.

For more information on the tax credit, visit here:,,id=204671,00.html

For more information on property listings that meet your real estate needs, call me at 704.562.1030.  I’ll get an idea of your big picture and send emailed property listings that meet your criteria and introduce you to a lending officer who can guide you through pre-qulaifying and credit repair, if needed. 

Rates are low, list prices are low, and inventory is high.  It’s a great time to buy low for future increased home equity when the market recovers.

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A Charlotte area native, and licensed in NC & SC, Chrystal is very experienced with international relocation, home buying and selling and with rental portfolio development and holds MASTERS Designation specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology and is a member in good standing with Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

N.C. foreclosures fall 42% in 1Q

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 9:48am EDT

According to data from RealtyTrac Inc., the state had 5,988 foreclosures in the latest quarter, with one in every 689 homeowners receiving a default notice, auction-sale notice or bank-repossession filing.  North Carolina ranked 36th in the nation for foreclosure filings in the latest quarter.  Nevada, Arizona and California posted the top foreclosure rates.  Foreclosure filings in North Carolina fell 40 percent in March from the same period last year. Filings were down 3 percent last month from February. 

Across the country, foreclosure filings rose 24 percent in the first quarter from a year ago. There were 803,489 foreclosure filings, which affected one in every 159 U.S. households. Filings rose 46 percent in March from a year ago and 17 percent from February. Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac tracks default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

Its figures exceed those compiled by the N.C. Commissioner of Banks. The company counts every foreclosure filing, including multiple filings for a single household, while the commissioner counts each household only once, regardless of the number of filings it receives.

Rates are low, listings high, prices slashed.  Now is the time to make your move to buy low and sell high, when the market recovers.  Call me to discuss your big picture and for a full listing of foreclosed homes that meet your criteria.  704.562.1030/800.243.6670 x 110

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Living, playing, and working in south Charlotte for over 27 years, and with over 14 years experience in the real estate field as an investor and Luxury Home Specialist, I have the knowledge, experience and discretion you need to maximize your return on investment whether for your personal home, investment portfolio, or small business property.  Contact me at

So You Want to Become A Homeowner?

In North and South Carolina, all agents/REALTORS® are independent contractors and although we work under a supervising broker, it’s Me, Inc! 

Your loyalty to your REALTOR® is important and is the only way he or she can protect your best interests in making sound real estate related decisions.  All REALTORS® must adhere to a strict code of ethics (but not all agents are REALTORS®)  and should work in your best interests, carrying out your lawful instructions, and be fair and honest to all parties.

A Strong Offer

      The home choosing process depends on many factors including financial ability and personal tastes.   Once you have found the perfect home for your needs, the next step is in making a strong offer.  I will make sure you have all the elements of making a strong offer assembled before it’s presented, so your offer will stand out among the many.

      The home buying process should follow a prescribed sequence of events.  After calculating a fair offer price range, I will prepare the offer with supporting documents to make the offer most comprehensive and appealing to the seller.  A strong offer always includes the pre-qualifying letter from your lender, offers a high percentage of the actual market value of the property, and has no contingencies, such as the need to fulfill a lease or close on your listed and under contract property.  While every offer doesn’t always have these characteristics, the goal is to create a win-win situation for both the buyer and the seller.

 For Your Protection

      After the sales price, closing date, and other terms are agreed upon by both buyer and seller, and all signatures are obtained, we have a contract and it’s time for the inspections.  The seller is obligated to repair any items required by the lender (usually related to wood-destroying insects).  Further, the inspection uncovers any items on the property that do not function as they were intended to function.  If it’s installed, it should work!  We then prepare a “Request for Repairs.”  The seller has two choices: to repair or not to repair.  If he chooses to repair, it should be completed in a workmanship like manner.  If he should choose not to repair, it prompts two choices for you, the buyer.  The buyer may take the property in its current condition or may be released from the contract and all earnest monies returned to the buyer* – depending upon the specific details and dates in the contract.

      After all repairs are completed, it time for re-inspection.  This usually occurs from a week before closing to the day before, depending upon the severity of the repair needed and desires of the buyer.

 Making it Official

      From there it’s off to closing.  A real estate attorney or title company prepares the documents and they are reviewed prior to signing.  This last leg of the journey is important, and it usually takes from 30 minutes to 2 hours.  The documents are then recorded that day or early the next morning, and it’s official, you are a homeowner!  You get the keys to the property after the closing, defined as the time and date of closing, meaning when the deed is recorded.  Once you have the keys, you begin your move.

If you are thinking of moving in the next 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, contact me.  It’s ‘Chrystal Clear’ who to call for all your real estate needs! 


*Although many times throughout the contract and addenda it states the terms under which earnest money is to be returned to the buyer, in the states of North and South Carolina, both parties must agree in writing to the disbursement of the earnest money deposit before it may be released.


Buyer’s Agent New Construction Closing Checklist

Closing Checklist as Buyer’s Agent


New Construction

Once you are under contract with a new home builder, there are many behind-the-scenes activities that are necessary to progress seamlessly from contract to close. 

Following is a list of items your REALTOR® should oversee.  Problems will arise.  To avoid unnecessary delays, let your REALTOR® know immediately when a problem occurs.  Always let your REALTOR® know all builder scheduled appointments as soon as they are set so your REALTOR® can attend.


  •            Get copies of finalized contract to buyers and lender
  •  ð       Follow loan process with loan officer from beginning to end
  •  ð       Ask lender what is needed from buyer
  •  ð       Accompany buyer to design center/location for color and materials selection
  •  ð       Attend pre-construction meeting with buyer
  •  ð       Set up pre-dry wall inspection with independent home inspector
  •  ð       Get update from lender – any needs outstanding from buyer
  •  ð       Get update from closing coordinator regarding closing with attorney
  •  ð       Inform buyers of time and date for closing
  •  ð       Have buyer check into and set up home owner’s insurance
  •       Clarify if survey (showing building on site) will be provided
  •  ð       Get update from lender
  •       Arrange home inspection prior to pre-closing walk –  utilities on, all appliances installed
  •  ð       Get repair request list to construction supervisor
  •  ð       Review HUD statement with buyers
  •  ð       Make sure buyers have driver’s licenses and certified check made out to attorney
  •  ð       Final walk to check on repairs the day of closing

 ð       Enjoy closing!