When you sell your home, the closing process is the final step you’ll take before receiving your money and moving on. How can you understand, prepare for, and complete the closing process in the easiest, most “no worries” way possible? A few months ago, our Maine Source Homes & Realty blog explained The Closing Process: The Buyer’s Perspective. Now, let’s look at it from the seller’s perspective.
Handle All Necessary Repairs Promptly
Virtually all home sellers agree to make certain repairs before closing. If you’re in that boat, make the repairs NOW—don’t wait until the last second. A good rule of thumb is to plan to complete all repairs at least one week prior to closing. That will allow you plenty of “fudge time” if anything in the repairs gets delayed, or if the buyer discovers a problem during the final walkthrough. (More on that below.)
Also—and this is VERY important—don’t forget to document, document, document your repairs. To prove all requested repairs have been made, save all repair-related receipts and contractor invoices, and take “before and after” photos of all repairs.
The Final Walkthrough
A day or two prior to closing, the buyer and his/her agent will do one more walkthrough of the house. (You should not be present for this). They’ll generally take 30 to 60 minutes to go through the entire house. Most of the time, they are especially focusing on whether agreed-upon repairs were made, and making sure no new problems have arisen.
If everything looks fine (which generally it will), you’ll be immediately notified of that. If, on the other hand, any problem has come to light, you’ll be told you need to make the additional repair, or asked to pay the buyer a certain sum of money so he or she can make the repair.
The Official Closing Meeting
The good news is, most closings go smoothly. The closing generally boils down to you signing documents (which will be clearly explained to you prior to signing), then watching the buyer sign.
While doing this, pay careful attention to the Settlement Statement. This document will state the money you’re earning on the house sale, plus taxes. Be sure these numbers match what you were expecting, and don’t sign the document if they don’t. Then immediately inform your real estate agent or attorney of any perceived discrepancy.
Once everything is signed, the buyer’s funds will be transferred to your attorney. He or she then will handle the payments to cover your loan and pay your real estate team. (Luckily, you don’t have to worry about any of this!)
Then you enjoy the best part: Getting a check—usually the same day—for the rest of the money!
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