The process of buying or selling a home is very detailed and requires a lot of moving parts. Once the end is in sight, you’ll need to prep for closing day. Planning for closing day can help make things run a little bit smoother. So whether you’re a buyer or a seller, here are some important must-knows on what you’ll need to have in place for closing day.
For the seller:
- Repairs will need to be done and receipts obtained
- Before closing can happen, all repairs that were requested during the selling process will need to be complete. Once everything has been done, be sure that all of that is documented well and that you have all receipts readily available.
- Be ready for a buyer walkthrough
- Once repairs have been completed, the buyer will likely want to do a walkthrough to make sure everything looks in order.
- Arrange for your utilities to turn off
- Call your utility companies, cable/Internet company, and any other services that will need to be turned off and transferred to your new residence. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t cancel your homeowner’s insurance on your current address until the final sale of the home has been recorded.
- Gather all brochures, keys, garage door openers, etc.
- If you have collected brochures/manuals on specific appliances in the home, or you have other important documents that need to be left for the new homeowner, make sure you have those readily available. In addition, you’ll need to leave them the keys to the home, mailbox, and any garage door openers you have.
- Sign documents
- This is the biggest step that transfers ownership and gets the process moving toward completion! It can happen several days before the “closing date.”
For the buyer:
- Obtain receipts for completed repair work
- If repairs were done in the home you’re purchasing, make sure you get all of the receipts and warranties associated with the work that was done. Keep these in your records in case you need to refer to them later or in case something goes wrong with the repair down the road.
- Do a walkthrough
- This is your chance to make sure that the repairs were done right and that things are good to go so you can move forward with signing closing papers.
- Set up utilities
- Call your utility company and schedule a time when you want water/electricity to come on. While you’re doing this, schedule a time for Internet/cable service to be hooked up, or any other services that you will need ready to go when you first move in.
- Sign any last minute lender information
- This is an important step! You will need to sign a closing disclosure that needs to be acknowledged to start a 3-day waiting period before you can sign final closing documents.
- Sign documents at escrow
- Here, you’ll sign papers that allow you to complete the home buying process. After the sale is recorded, you’ll get keys to your home and you’ll be able to start moving in!
If you’re confused about which step comes next, don’t worry! I will be there to walk you through the process. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, contact me today for information on how I can help.
So you’ve made it through the home inspection and the appraisal on your home sale and now you only have to ‘finish up’ with the closing, right?
First of all ‘closing’ is a process not an event. There are lots of steps involved in the last week before recording, which is actually when the home changes ownership. As of October 3 of this year, there is a new federal set of guidelines (TRID) that involves a very complicated sequence of timed events which must be taken into account as we schedule this last week of activities.
There are two perspectives for all this: one for the seller and one for the buyer. However, they are totally intertwined. It starts with the final approval of the loan and the generation of a financial summary of the transaction called the Closing Disclosure. Depending on the bank (and different ones are reading the guidelines differently), this disclosure must be delivered to the buyer and acknowledged by them. After this, there is a waiting period of at least 3 and up to 7 business days. Most lenders will not let anyone sign until the waiting period is over. Then, loan documents are generated, sent to escrow, and the signing appointment is set up. Both parties will sign (not at the same time) and then escrow gets clearance from the lender to record. Once recording occurs, the seller gets their funds.
This process of course gets more complicated if the buyer is getting their funds from a property sale (now there are two sets of TRID guidelines) or someone is out of town (at least one of the seller documents—the deed—must be signed ‘wet’ and the original returned to escrow before recording) or any number of logistic elements.
Here are some tips that can help the closing process go smoothly:
Tip #1: Stay organized.
Realtors are trained to help walk you through each step of the closing process, but it is helpful to keep your Realtor in the loop in regards to packing, moving, and where you will be living during the last week of the closing process. Keeping organized will help reduce any frenzied feelings and will help save you time in the long run.
Tip #2: Be patient.
Patience is key during this process. You likely want to get things done as quickly as possible, but the closing process will take some time and if you know this going into it, you’ll be better prepared to make it through without a lot of stress.
Thank goodness you have an experienced guide through all this—me! We’ll work it all together and make it over the goal line smoothly.