Selling your home can be a long and complicated process. If you have entered into an agreement for the sale of your home, you are almost to the finish line! The last step in the process should be closing on a home. This is where title to the home is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. Although there will be some variance from one state to the next with regard to who is present at a closing and how the closing proceeds, there are some commonalities as well. As a rule, home sellers, home buyers, as well as their respective agents, must be present at the closing. In addition, a closing agent who works for the title company or lender is usually present along with a representative from the lender and the title company. Either or both side may also bring an attorney on the day of closing. In order to ensure that you are prepared for the big day, home sellers may wish to use the following checklist as a guide.
• Request a payoff statement for each lien or encumbrance that currently exists on the property. If you have a mortgage on the property, contact your lender for the payoff statement. Other liens or encumbrances may turn up when the title search is conducted. These must be addressed prior to, or at, the closing. Your Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agent can assist you if you are uncertain how to request the necessary information.
• Make any repairs that were agreed upon pursuant to the sales agreement. This should be completed prior to the final walk through by the home sellers.
• Attend the walk-through before the closing. Most states allow/require a final walk-through within 24 hours prior to the closing. Although this is intended to be for the benefit of the buyer, you can take this opportunity to pass on any quirks or insider information regarding the home to the buyers. You will also want to be present in case any issues arise at the last minute with regard to the condition of the home or any repairs that have been completed.
• Contact utility companies ahead of time to arrange for shut-off of services. If you have received a final bill prior to closing, bring that with you to show that you have turned off or transferred the services. On the day of closing, you should go through the house and physically shut-off valves.
• Assemble warranties and manuals to pass on to the buyers. If the sale includes appliances or anything else that comes with a manual or warranty you should put those together to give to the new owners.
• Bring your copies of all important documents to the closing. Although copies may be provided for you at the closing, it is best to come prepared. While there may be additional documents required at your specific closing, some common documents that you should have with you include: sales contract, title search, appraisal, inspection report, and disclosures.
Because each closing is as unique as the property being sold, be sure to consult with your Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate agent to be certain that you are fully prepared for your closing when the day finally arrives.