7. The Closing!
Seller "To Do's" Before Closing
Prior to the closing the seller and seller’s attorney will gather the information and documents needed for the sale to be closed. Some of these you will see ahead of time, others at the closing.
- Receipts for repairs from inspection requests.
- Copies of seller-paid inspections like well/septic or termites/pests.
- Title search to prove ownership of the property.
- Property survey to verify that the lot lines match the deed and that there are no encumbrances.
- HOA documents and statement of account.
The seller must have everything out of the house, garage, storage shed, etc., before the final walk-through. The seller must leave the house in “broom clean” condition. It’s nice when the seller deep cleans the house, or has it professionally cleaned, but it’s not mandatory.
Buyer "To Do's" Before Closing
Money Matters: You and your loan officer will review the closing statement, with all fees and credits, several days before the closing. Carefully review the documents and make sure you understand the details. It’s difficult to make changes once the “clear to close” has been issued.
Schedule Utilities: In our area the seller cancels services for the date of closing and the buyer starts service in their names. Make the calls a week ahead of time to ensure that utilities are on when you take possession at closing.
Confirm Your Movers: Everyone involved in your home purchase will try to make your closing happen on time, but problems can arise. Make sure your mover can be flexible.
Do You Have Children? Arrange For Child Care: Most walk-throughs and closings go smoothly. But there can be problems, and younger children won’t be happy sitting at a title company for hours while the attorneys or the lender resolves issues.
Your final walk-through of the home will usually be done the night before or the morning of the closing day. The purpose of the walk-through is for the buyer and their agent to do a quick tour of the house to make sure it’s in good condition and check that any agreed upon repairs were completed. We also make sure that things like appliances and shelving (per the contract) have been left in the home.
If a seller hasn’t completed a repair, or we see damage to the property, or something is missing, then the attorneys, the seller, and buyer must negotiate a solution before the sale can be finalized. A remedy could be provided to the buyer in the form of a credit, a seller-paid repair, or a hold-back from seller proceeds put into an escrow account to be used for resolving the problem.
We know you’re excited about your new home, but please don’t bring family, friends, or contractors to the final walk-through. Don’t bring anything to leave at the house before closing.
The closing is usually held at a title company chosen by the seller’s attorney. Most sellers pre-sign their paperwork with their attorney so that they don’t have to attend the closing. The seller will leave keys and garage door openers at the house or with their attorney to be turned over when the closing is finished up.
When you get to the closing your attorney will review all of your mortgage documents and have you sign them.
Most closings take about an hour, but can go longer if there are problems with the loan package or wire transfer. You usually need to stay for the entire closing. When the loan is fully funded, you’ll get the keys to your new home. Congratulations!