It may be normal in other parts of the country for settlement to last for hours on end but not in Northern Virginia. Most of the time closing takes about an hour to complete . However when buyer’s wait until an hour before settlement to do the final walk-through there could be a chance that the hour settlement could stretch on and on and on.
If repairs were agreed upon as part of the contract and not completed, showing up at the closing table with a laundry list of items immediately puts the sellers on the defense. If you find an issue with an AC system that isn’t working or a dishwasher that leaks how can a seller call in a serviceman on 15 minutes notice?.
If you want the seller to escrow money for repairs your lender needs to be notified and in some cases they need to approve the change to the HUD-1. How does everyone come to an agreement about the cost of the repairs without any time to do any research? The settlement company’s role is not to sort out these details. Their role isn’t to negotiate repairs. There role is to make sure that all of the documents are signed and recorded as per law.
My recommendation to buyer in Northern Virginia is to schedule the final walk-through at least 48 hours in advance. If there are still issues to be resolved this at least gives the seller and their agent notice. If they choose to ignore that notice or not give you an update until settlement you may be stuck with the same problem but at least you gave everyone a chance to come to a positive conclusion before settlement. No one wants to sit at the closing table for hours trying to resolve what might have been a simple issue if everyone had time to work it out before the appointed settlement time.