Accepting an offer on your home is an exciting step. It may feel like the process is done and celebrations are in order – but closing on the home sale can be more work than you might expect.
The final phase includes the legal transfer of your property’s title, final negotiations, tying up loose ends, and executing the financial transaction. This checklist outlines exactly what you need to do before, during, and after the closing process.
Preparing for closing
To solidify an offer, a purchase contract must be signed. This document details the terms of the agreement, like who keeps the home appliances, the buyer’s inspection period, how much money the buyer is putting down, and the closing date.
Once both parties sign the contract, the earnest effort to meet the agreed-upon deadline is set into motion. In most cases, the first order of business is a home inspection arranged by the buyer. If the buyer asks for repairs based on the results of the inspection, you’ll sit down with your agent to negotiate these repairs. Depending on the situation, you may agree to the repair requests, agree to part of the requests, or deny the repairs altogether.
If the buyer is financing the purchase, next on the agenda is a home appraisal. The appraisal report will provide an objective, third-party assessment of the home’s value.
Once you are over these hurdles, you’ll want to make the following preparations for closing day:
- Clean your home one final time. Make sure to check drawers and closets for any extra items.
- Gather documents for appliances & other items. This includes things like manuals, warranties, and receipts.
What sellers should bring to closing
In anticipation of the closing meeting, go through this list and ensure everything is readily available.
- Photo IDs of all sellers on the home contract (check with your agent to see if you need one or two forms of ID).
- Keys and/or security codes for the home and any remotes for appliances (like the garage door, HVAC, etc.)
- Final utility bills to be paid
- Cashier’s check to cover closing costs if you didn’t wire the money already
- Personal checkbook in case there are any unforeseen costs
- Proof of repairs made per the home inspection
Every state and individual sale can vary slightly, so be sure to check with your agent prior to the closing day to confirm this is all that you need. All other documents – such as the closing statement, seller disclosures, deed to the home, and purchase contract – will be handled by either your real estate agent, escrow agent, or attorney.
Expenses at closing
Aside from any remaining mortgage balance, sellers can expect to pay about 5-10% of the sale price in closing costs. These include:
- Taxes, utilities, insurance
- Real estate commission
- Escrow, title, and attorney fees
- Warranty payment (if required)
- HOA dues (if applicable)
These expenses are typical but may not be all-inclusive. Depending on the unique details of your home sale, you may have additional paperwork or fees to pay. Your agent will let you know specifically what’s required.
If you net a profit after your loan and all agent commissions are paid, you’ll receive a check at closing.
Once the closing is complete, it’s time to file away your closing-related paperwork and complete these final tasks:
- Change your address. Notify every business, utility, and person you can think of that you’re moving. And be sure to update your address at the post office.
- Cancel the homeowner’s insurance policy. Do this after the title has transferred.
- Cancel utilities.
Ready to get started?
Team Melton has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started on selling your home!