You've accepted the buyer's offer, and the negotiations are finally completed, now the you’re just waiting to close! This is an exciting time. However, you might be a bit concerned that something is still going to go wrong before the closing is complete. No worries, I am here to help get you through the closing without a hitch.
Before You Reach the Closing Table:
1. Complete Needed Repairs
You must absolutely make sure that youget any needed repairs done before the day of closing. It may be the last thing you want to do right now - making repairs on a home that you are about to sell, but if you agreed to make repairs or improvements per the contract, don’t put them off until the last minute. Make sure you check the offer, and look at notes of any repairs that you and the buyer agreed on, and get it done ASAP. Bring receipts to the closing - anything you purchased, and invoices from contractors, then take before and after photos of work completed. It’s important to have proof that repairs were completed on the off chance that the buyers contest them during the walkthrough or at closing.
2. The Final Walkthrough
Before the closing date—usually 24 hours before—the buyers and their agent will do one more walkthrough of the house. They will go through every room, inside and outside. This typically takes about a half hour or so. Some buyers may go into detail, testing every light switch. But in most cases, the buyer is just looking to make sure that the agreed-upon repairs were made and no new issues have crept up before closing. They are basically looking for unexpected problems. If they do detect a problem, and it’s big enough, you may have to delay your closing to give time for repairs. In some cases, the buyers ask for a credit instead of the repairs.
At The Closing:
1. The Closing Table
Many closings go very smoothly - just as planned. The buyers are excited to get into their new home, all the agreed-on repairs have been made, and the sellers are ready to move on. If things are going well, the closing may just end up being a blur of paperwork. Every now and then, however, problems can creep up—or the buyer wants to negotiate further. Some things are worth perusing more than others. For example, make sure you pay close attention to the settlement statement. There are documents you’ll need to sign, like a warranty deed, but the settlement is the most important. It includes the money you’re making on the sale, plus tax issues and closing costs. Make sure the numbers are correct and they are what you were expecting. If not, pull your real estate agent or attorney aside and point them out.
2. Last-Minute Drama May Unfold
So what if things don’t go smoothly? What if the buyers want to continue to negotiate, and become difficult? The buyer has the right to hash out concerns up until the time they sign the final document and take possession of the home. You should hear them out considering you have come this far. If the buyer is negotiating for something you can easily solve without changing the terms of the contract (for example, you can offer them some furniture or appliances), you'll probably be able to work those details out at closing. But if you and the buyer have negotiated a lower price at the last minute, you may have to delay closing. Once the negotiations are handled and papers are signed, the funds are transferred to the closer, who will handle the payments to cover your loan and pay your real estate team and attorney. Thankfully, this part is handled by someone else. And the best part: You’ll get a check for the remainder. At this point, all that's left is officially moving out and moving on!