Once you have a contract on your house much of the excitement and activity tends to surround the buyer, who is eager to get their keys and move into your former home. But you’re still important, too!
This is a big moment for you, as well, because you’re moving out of your home and into your future.
Closing (also called a settlement) involves the signing of documents to complete the sale, and transfer the property from you to the buyer. How the closing is conducted can vary, in most instances, round table closings bring all parties together at the closing table; in others, buyers and sellers complete the process through separate, individual appointments with the title company. Ask your agent to explain which will occur based on your situation.
Here’s a general guide, of what to expect at closing. Your agent can explain any of this to you in more detail, and a closing agent will be present at the settlement to explain each and every document.
Prior to closing:
- You or your agent will arrange for any inspections that were agreed to in the purchase agreement and follow up with proof of completion.
- Gather all warranties on equipment, any instructions on appliances or household items, as well as the keys to your house and plan to bring them to closing.
- If possible, have your agent obtain a copy of the settlement statement so you can review it for accuracy prior to actual closing.
- Order the transfer of the utilities and final meter readings.
- Obtain a cashier’s check to cover any closing costs you will be paying.
- Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license as the title representative will need to see and make copies of your identification.
- Meet at the appointed time and place. An attorney or title company representative, the buyer, your agent and the buyer’s agent will be there, too.
- The attorney or title company will have searched the title, provided title insurance and obtained old and new lender instructions. All unresolved walk-through deficiencies will be resolved at this time.
- The attorney or title company representative will explain the deed of trust or mortgage and the settlement sheets.
- Review and sign the deed and settlement sheets.
- Pay appropriate closing costs with a cashier’s check.
- If your taxes or insurance have been escrowed, you may receive any money accumulated in the account for bills not yet due.
- You may also be reimbursed for any money paid in advance and not used, such as for property taxes. (You may receive these funds the day of closing or after the settlement, depending upon where you live).
- Get a copy of the settlement sheets for your records.
- Hand over the keys, garage door remotes, etc. to the new owner.