Closing the Sale and Buyer Possession
Closing or settlement is the ceremonial transfer of property from you to the buyer.
We can explain what’s customary for closings in your area, whether all parties are together at the closing table, or if you’ll have a separate settlement from the buyer.
Here’s what to expect at closing:
- Meet at the appointed time and place. An attorney or title company representative will serve as the closing agent.
- The closing agent will proceed according to the lender’s instructions. All unresolved walk-through deficiencies will be resolved at this time.
- The closing agent will explain the deed of trust or mortgage and the settlement sheets.
- Review and sign the deed and settlement sheets.
- Pay appropriate closing costs with a cashier’s check.
- If your taxes or insurance have been placed into escrow, you may receive any money accumulated in the account for bills not yet due.
- You may also be reimbursed for any money paid in advance and not used, such as for property taxes. (You may receive these funds the day of closing or after the settlement, depending upon where you live).
- Get a copy of the settlement sheets for your records.
- Hand over the keys to the new owner.
Things to Consider
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:
- 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. Your buyer will want to make a final inspection (or walk-through) to see that the home is still in good condition.
Ask your settlement agent for a copy of the closing costs before closing. This document is known as the closing statement or settlement sheet. It contains most of the charges you may be asked to pay.
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