Closing Date: What Home Sellers Should Expect?

All the contingencies have been resolved and the countdown to your closing date is finally approaching. What a relief! But, don’t start celebrating too soon.  A sale is not closed until it is formally closed, the title has been transferred and the funds have been exchanged. Your closing date is close, but it is always important to pay attention to the details so that your closing goes off without a hitch.

There is a lot of coordination involved in buying and selling a house. Involved parties can  include buyers, banks, attorneys, mortgage companies, home inspectors, appraisers and, of course, real estate brokers and agents.

Closing a real estate sale is not a simple process.  If you’ve made it this far, be careful not to drop the ball and slow the closing date. Nothing is more important. The best way to ensure you meet the closing date is is by paying attention to all the details and cooperating with the buyer and the buyer’s agents. Here’s what you can expect on your closing date. Follow these tips to make sure you close on time.

Attention to Detail

First and foremost, thoroughly review all your closing documentation.  You should receive all paperwork at least 3 days in advance. Check everything for inaccuracies.  The smallest errors can delay your closing date.

The most common mistake is a misspelled name, but mistakes with the address are also quite common.  Undetected errors or uncorrected mistakes can set back the closing date another three days while new paperwork is prepared.

If you will attend the closing, make sure you have already reviewed the documents so as to speed up the process and avoid major setbacks.

On the closing date, the ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer.

Review all the closing paperwork prior to closing.

Keep Your Home in Tip-Top Shape

Expect the buyers to complete their final walk through the day before or the morning of your closing date.  Obviously, you should avoid damaging your home or making any major, undiscussed changes at the last minute. If anything unfortunate does occur, it is important for your agent to disclose this information to the buyers so that the necessary adjustments can be made.

It is a mistake to cover up last minute changes and proceed as if nothing happened.  Most likely the buyers will find out and the repercussions will be more trouble than making appropriate adjustments. If you have promised to have any repairs done for the buyers, make sure they are completed before the closing date so the buyers can inspect the work during the final walkthrough, unless you have an agreement to complete the repairs at a later date.

At The Closing Table

At the closing, bring your driver’s license or passport to verify your identification as well as anything you need to turn over to the buyers such as keys or electric garage door openers.  Be prepared to sign all the paperwork you have already reviewed.

Most likely, there will be an escrow agent present at the closing. As a disinterested third party, their duties are to make sure everything is organized and all funds accurately disbursed. This includes handling documents, money and payments to the parties directly involved with the sale and the closing.

Occasionally, the mortgage documentation can delay the closing, especially because HUD paperwork must be completed before wiring of any funds. Hopefully this process doesn’t take too long, but it can delay the closing and even cause postponement until the next business day. This can be an inconvenience to the buyer and the seller. Once the title company receives their money, they will disburse money to all entitled parties. Payments are usually in check form, but if you desire an electronic transfer, remember to have your bank information available on the closing date.

Should I Go to the Closing?

As the seller, it is not necessary that you attend the closing.  Your attorney can represent you and sign any incidental paperwork that you have not already pre-signed.  Once all the contingencies are met, many sellers move on and choose to spend their time preparing for the move.

By not attending the closing, sellers can avoid tense or emotional conversations with the buyers, who may still be haggling over certain things such as closing costs, personal belongings they wish left in the house, or other conditions.

However, if you are an engaged seller, it may be in your best interest to attend to make sure everything goes according to plan. Try to make things run as smoothly as possible, and don’t prompt any needless haggling.

Closing are much more comfortable when the buyer and seller accommodate each other. If the buyers have questions about the heating system, the pool or any other household system, it is a good idea to give them the necessary advice, You might also tell them about their new neighbors, names and and ages of any neighborhood children and include info about the school system.

Attorney can go to closing on seller's behalf.

You may send your attorney on your behalf, and have him sign any incidental paperwork that you have not already pre-signed.

After the Closing

Once the escrowee disburses the funds to everyone and the transfer of title is official, the closing is complete. Your closing date has gone off without a hitch. Congratulations!

This can be an emotional time. However, if you are not ready to move, it is possible to reach an agreement with the buyers to lease back the home for a certain period of time, whether to simply finish moving your belongings or for a more extended period before your new home is move-in ready.

However, if you do not need additional time to vacate, you should relinquish all keys, garage door openers and other such devices to the buyer. If you will be staying in your home after closing, you will essentially be a tenant, renting the property from the new owners, usually at a daily or monthly rental rate. You will most likely be asked to put down a deposit, and will be responsible for any damage to the property while you are the tenant. You may also be required to obtain tenant’s insurance.

Buyer can move in on the closing date.

Once the escrowee disburses the funds to everyone accordingly and the transfer documents are given to the buyers, the closing is complete.

Exchanging keys and garage door openers is the last activity on most closing dates. To make it this far, the most important thing to remember is to thoroughly review all documents and be prepared for anything extra that might surface at the closing. Try to avoid surprises that are usually caused by small details that slow down or prevent the closing.

Once you have made it to the closing table, do whatever is in your power to get the title transfer accomplished.  Once the closing is complete, keep track of all closing documents, as they may be used for tax purposes.

If you want agents that work with you right through the sale and the closing, contact the Delphone Team at 847-550-3599.  We work closely with all our buyers and sellers to make sure their interests are protected and their closings take place without any hitches.

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