Closing and Possession
The closing (also sometimes referred to as settlement) is a critical part of the home selling process. At the closing, your home will legally be transferred to the buyer. Be prepared for a lot of paperwork. You’ll be signing your name on a lot of documents during this process! Review the following points to help you prepare for your closing.
Prior to the Closing
Expect the buyer’s lender to send an appraiser and a surveyor to check your home.
Gather all warranties and instruction books for your home’s appliances or major systems to give to the buyer.
Once you have a closing date, notify the utility, telephone, water, trash and other services to advise them of your final billing date. Utility companies should make final meter readings on the day of closing.
Have repairs and other specifications completed according to the contract so that final inspections may take place. Prior to closing, your buyer will want to make a final inspection (or walk-through) to see that the home is still in good condition.
Look over any terms in the contract that state when the buyer will take possession. If you have not moved out by that date, the contract stipulates what will happen.
Ask your settlement agent for a copy of the closing costs before closing. This document is known as the closing statement or settlement sheet and will contain most of the charges you may be asked to pay.
You may pay a loan discount fee or service fee. This fee – or points – is a percent of the mortgage amount and charged by the lender to adjust yield to reflect current market interest rates. For VA guaranteed loans, the seller pays the points. Otherwise, they’re a negotiable item.
Depending on your area and your negotiations, you might pay for charges related to the title, such as title insurance or attorney’s fees.
The buyer will likely pay the fee for recording the mortgage, while you as the seller may be asked to pay the transfer fee and the deed recording fee. Other fees, such as settlement agent fees, document preparation, notary services or warranty coverage, may be charged for preparation of closing. Your Crestico Real Estate Agent will inform you which fees are your responsibility.
Typically, you as the seller will pay the commission to the listing broker. If two brokers are involved, the fee is divided between them. Your listing agreement will spell this out.
After the balance you owe on your mortgage is subtracted from your proceeds, as well as any early payment penalties (if applicable), you also may pay a small charge to have the title cleared.
You will typically be responsible for paying your prorated share of property taxes and hazard insurance until the date of settlement. If these charges have been paid from an escrow account, you may still have money in your account. Or, if the charges have already been paid in advance, you may receive money back from your lender.
Depending on the area, either the buyer or seller will arrange the closing and select the settlement agent. The person who handles the closing may be a broker, lender, title insurance company, escrow company or attorney.
The closing will take place at a mutually convenient time and place, usually within a 30 to 60 day period.
Closing may involve more than one settlement activity: closing the property transaction, the buyer’s loan and possibly your mortgage.
Any issues or questions should be resolved by this time so that both parties can simply review and sign each document.
Your Crestico Real Estate Agent or attorney can help you prepare any paperwork that the contract has called for you to supply, such as the title insurance or a survey.
You will sign over the deed to the buyer to convey the title to the property. You should also review the final version of the settlement statement to be sure it is in order.
The moment you’ve been waiting for – You’ve sold your house! At the closing or shortly thereafter, you’ll turn over the keys to your house â€” and be given a check you can take straight to the bank!
The home selling process may seem lengthy and complicated at times, but your Real Estate Agent is here to guide you through the process.
If you are thinking of selling a home, or want to talk with an expert Real Estate Agent, please work with a Crestico Real Estate Agent. An agent at one of our local offices will be glad to talk with you, and help you in all of your Real Estate needs.