What is the Closing Process from the Seller's Perspective?
The day of closing is the most important day for you as a seller. At that time, you will transfer your property to the buyer who made an offer on it. Before that, you need to make sure there are no pending mortgage payments on the house, and then receive proceeds from its sale. Here are some things you can expect before and during this process:
The Home Inspection
A week after the agreement is signed, your property will be inspected by a professional home inspector who will be sent by the buyer. They will inspect the current condition of the systems you have in place, elements such as the roof, siding, brickwork, and look for any defects. This will be followed by a detailed report of the findings which will be presented to the buyer before the closing.
The amount you have to pay at the closing as a seller depends on a number of factors. Unless the value of the home is low, you will have to pay for the following:
- Property liens
- Transfer taxes
- Title insurance
- Commission for the agent
- Loan payoff
A competent real estate agent will ensure that the payment process goes smoothly, and will explain each step clearly. The bottom line is that what you pay at the closing will depend on the laws of the state you are in, and on the terms mentioned in the contract. Unless you can convince your buyer otherwise, you have to pay for everything that is mentioned on the document under your name. If the buyer agrees to the new terms, the closing may be delayed since the paperwork will have to be altered to reflect said terms. This can take time depending on the number of terms that have been changed and agreed upon.
You May Not Meet the Buyer
While it is convenient for the buyer and seller to close a deal simultaneously, it may not be necessary. You and the buyer can close at different times if you want to, and even hire different companies. In fact, you may not even meet the buyer at all. If the buyer is at the closing, your paperwork might double. Both of you have to sign several documents but the good news is that their paperwork will exceed yours significantly. The buyer also has to finalize the mortgage during this process. Whether the buyer is present at the closing or not, once all of the funds have been transferred and the paperwork has been taken care of, you need to hand over the keys.
Depending on the closing attorney, the closing can end quickly or get delayed. Right up to the closing, they will be busy ordering the title of the property, accumulating necessary documents, coordinating with lenders, and creating settlement statements for both parties The HUD statement may be delayed if the attorney does not receive the loan package on time. This paperwork should ideally be at their office at least a day before the closing is scheduled. As mentioned before, the seller has relatively few documents to sign but the closing will still take a couple of hours to complete. After the closing, the attorney will hand over all of the proceeds from the sale to you. However, make sure you hand over all of the keys to the house if you want that money immediately. This includes access cards, garage openers, and other essential items.
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