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The Ultimate Checklist for Closing on a House

September 28 2018
by Leisl Bailey

the ultimate checklist for closing on a house

Closing on a house for sellers is often just as exciting as closing on a home for buyers! While it can be bittersweet leaving a place you loved to live, moving house is often the start of a new and exciting chapter.

This closing on a house checklist for sellers will make sure you don’t forget anything for the big day.

Here is everything you need to know about closing for sellers:

What is Closing Day?

Closing Day is the day that a property officially changes hands. The buyer and the seller will meet up to transfer over all money and documents. The legal ownership of a house or unit will also be transferred.

As the seller, you will also be responsible for paying off any loans that you have on the house as well as paying the people who helped you to sell your home.

Does the Seller Need To Attend Closing?

The buyer of a property is always required to be present at the closing proceedings. He has lots of paperwork to sign and things to pay, but as the seller, you might not even need to be there.

The typical kinds of closing proceedings are a conventional escrow closing and a table closing. In both of these situations, you will likely be able to pre-sign the deed and any other transfer documents for the home. If any incidentals come up, you can grant your lawyer temporary power of attorney to sign off on them for you.

You can have any money you make from the sale can wired to you or sent via check in the mail.

Speak to your Realtor to see if not attending the closing is the right choice for you. Many home sellers find it easier to never meet the individual purchasing their home.

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How To Prepare for Closing as a Seller:

Regardless of whether or not you choose to attend the closing proceedings, there are a few things you need to do to get your home ready for them:

Negotiate a Move-Out Date

If you do not think you will be able to vacate your home by closing day, then it is essential that you negotiate a leaseback agreement with your buyer before the day. Make sure to write this agreement into the contract of sale.

It should cover how long you will stay in the home and what your daily or monthly rental expenses will be.

As you are now a tenant in the home, your rent should cover things like insurance and taxes for the time that you live there. You will typically be responsible for any damage you cause to the home during this time.

Clean the House

Once you move your things out of your home, it’s time to deep clean it. And we mean really deep clean it. Steam mop the floors. Power wash the pavement. Move the refrigerator to wipe down underneath it.

If you don’t have the time or energy for this level of detail, there are many cleaning companies that specialize in cleaning for a move.

Do a Final Walkthrough

You should walk through your home with a fine-toothed comb for a couple of reasons. One is to ensure that you haven’t left anything behind – not even soap in the shower. And two, to make note of any idiosyncrasies about your home.

Is the switch to the fan for the master bedroom inside of the closet? What’s the best way to clean the pool? Small instructions like this can mean a lot to the next person who owns the home.

Cancel Insurance Policy

Since you will no longer be living in the home, it’s a good idea to cancel your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you have recently purchased a new home, or are under contract for one, you could also use this as an opportunity to take out a new policy.

Stop Services and Change Address

Be sure to update your address with the post office!

A good backup for this is to go through your subscription services and inform them of the move as well. Things like streaming services, food and clothing delivery options, and more will need to know where to find you.

Leave Some Things Behind

Buyers typically change the locks on a home once they move in, but it is unlikely that it will happen right away. Be sure to gather all the house keys, gate keys or remote, pool keys, and mailbox keys. Make sure to leave them in one, easy to find location for the buyer.

You should also gather up all the receipts, warranties, and instruction manuals for things like the HVAC, security, and sprinkler systems. If you have had any work done on the house and have a receipt from the contractor, be sure to leave those for the new buyer as well.

What Happens After Closing?

Be sure to keep all of your signed documents like the seller’s disclosure  and your contract of sale in a safe place.

After closing, your Realtor or lawyer should hand all of these documents to you in a bundle, but you may still have to ask for them.

Once you have paid off your outstanding mortgage loan, your lending company will send you a document. This document officially releases you from your mortgage.

Occasionally, the lender will send these documents straight to the local office of public record. Reach out and request that they get sent to you directly as well.

Ready to sell your house? If you list with Clever, our professional and friendly agents will make sure that you don’t forget anything on this list. Call us today at   1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.