Closing Time: What to Expect the First Time You Close
This is it. This is what it all worked toward -- all the searching and open houses, the negotiations and inspections, the contracts and reports – all to get to closing day. This is the day when the seller signs the property over to the buyer. But it started months earlier. The closing process is the culmination of a real estate transaction. The sales contract is the map of the transaction for all parties, including the lender and the title company. But what happens at a closing? Read on for a tour of the ins and outs of real estate closings. Pre-Closing Smart preparation is the key to a smooth closing. Wise agents will prepare for closing long before that happy day:
- Double check that all the information on all the documents is correct. If anything on the contract has changed, the title company needs a copy of the amendment.
- Co-ordinate closing and possession dates carefully. Use temporary lease agreements when possession and closing are not the same day.
- Do not assume that funding will be the same day as closing. Ask the title company. When a sales contract indicates that possession will be at closing and funding, that is when the buyer gets the keys and can begin to move in.
- Make sure the buyers have received all the required and agreed upon disclosures, reports, survey, and HOA documents.
- Ensure the escrow agent gets all the completed, legally valid documents needed for the closing.
- Review the Closing Disclosure form with the buyer the day before closing.
- Remind the seller to leave utilities on till the day of closing.
- Remind the buyers to switch the utilities to their name the day of closing.
- Confirm all disclosures were given in a timely fashion and signed off.
- Ensure everyone has a copy of all documents.
- Determine when the sellers and their possessions will be moved out of the property.
- When working with buyers, communicate with their lenders. Find out exactly which documents are required and the date by which they must be submitted.
- When working with sellers, make sure they comply with all requirements imposed by the buyer and the lender.
- Ensure the client is meeting the deadlines.
- Communicate with the other party’s broker.
- Stay involved! The agents often accompany clients to the closing to answer questions and offer support.