How to Make Settlement Day a Success
This is the eleventh article in our series called, Love Selling Your Home: Minimize Your Stress, Maximize Your Profit, Dwell Residential’s step-by-step guide to selling your home “right” even in today’s robust market. Our series takes you through the entire home-selling process — from finding a real estate agent to settlement day. Look for a new, informative article each week, right here!
It’s D-Day or should we say S-Day! You want to have a successful settlement day and avoid any surprises. It’s a big day for both you and the buyers of your home.
Here’s what to expect at your closing and what you should bring with you to make sure the transaction is finalized.
What to Complete Prior to Closing
- Any agreed upon repair work to the property or home should be completed by this date unless the buyer has agreed to work with their own contractor at a later day. The buyers will have their walk-through inspection just prior to the closing that day.
- Prepare to vacate your home on the agreed upon time with the buyer. If you and the buyers have agreed the moving will not take place on or before closing, you should negotiate a “rent-back” agreement.
- Cancel or transfer your utilities.
- Cancel your homeowners insurance.
- Cancel any monthly fees such as trash service, alarm company, condo fees, etc.
- Cancel any automatic payments that have to do with your home so you aren’t paying for it after you sold it!
- Call your lender to make sure they have a forwarding address so they can forward any money left over in your tax and insurance escrow account.
What to Bring to Closing
- Bring your driver’s license or some form of ID.
- Gather all keys (door, mailbox, gate, garage remotes, etc) and any other items that the buyer will need to access your home. These can no longer be in your possession. You can either leave them in your home but at least bring a key for them to access your home after closing.
- Bring your checkbook. The title company can take a voided check to directly wire you the funds/proceeds from your home sale.
What to Expect at the Closing
You and your agent should plan to attend the closing at the specified time. The buyers will also be there with their agent.
This is the day you will legally transfer the property to the buyer, pay off any mortgages, and receive any proceeds from the sale. You will also need to pay any parties you have been working with on the sale and closing of your home. Make sure you have your checkbook and are aware of any payment amounts in advance if possible.
If you plan to use some of the proceeds of this sale to purchase a new home, then you definitely want the closing of your old home to go smoothly with no delays or issues.
The settlement company acts as a third party overseeing the terms in the contract to ensure they are being carried out and the transfer of ownership occurs. They don’t represent you or the buyer, but the terms of the contract.
They also handle the closing process for that day and you will all meet in his/her office. This is to ensure that all parties involved (you, the buyer, your agent, their agent) can properly oversee the transaction. The settlement company will handle the documents, money, and any other items from all parties and make sure that everybody gets paid (including any old lenders) where necessary.
You will be signing a lot of documents that day so make sure you understand and know what you are signing. Ask questions and confirm amounts if necessary!
Congratulations … You sold your home!
Now that you have closed, it’s time to move on to your new home or new adventures. This was our last article in our Love Selling Your Home series. We hope you now know that selling your home doesn’t have to be stressful or chaotic if you know what to expect.
For a recap of all the articles in this series check out: Love Selling Your Home with Our Weekly How-To Tutorial Series. It lists all 11 articles such as Is Your Home Sellable?; “The Price is Right” Gets Your Home Sold; When to Say “Yes” to an Offer and many other informative topics!