Pre-Closing and Closing Checklist for Sellers
Immediately upon acceptance of the contract
- Follow-up on any terms outlined in the contract (providing homeowner association paperwork, clearance letters, escrow deposit etc.)
- Make any repairs included in the contract
- Provide the current mortgage loan(s) information and/or equity line of credit information to your agent (this should include your account numbers, contact information for the lender(s) and your personal information)
During the Home Inspection
- Top-to-bottom inspection of Property is performed by an inspector chosen and paid by the buyer
- Provide access to any areas (crawlspaces, attics, etc) that the inspector will need to access
- If the property is currently vacant, ensure that all utilities are on prior to the inspection
- Buyer reviews report, they have the right to ask the seller to address any concerns on the property
- This is done during the Due Diligence Period stated on the Sales & Purchase Contract
DUE DILIGENCE is the time period the Seller grants the buyer the option of terminating the agreement for any reason. Buyer may arrange financing, conduct evaluations, inspection, appraisals, examinations, surveys & testing. During this period the buyer may also inspect for active termite infestation. This process is the time for a renegotiation of the contract
As a part of the loan approval process, the lender will require that the property be appraised to ensure that the value of the property is adequate to justify the loan. Although the buyer and seller have already agreed on a price, the appraiser’s evaluation must support that price.
When the appraisal has been satisfactorily completed and the lender has verified the buyer’s income, credit, etc., the lender can then make a decision on loan approval.
Title Company or Closing Attorney
Buyer chooses Title Company and/or if they desire to have an attorney represent them at closing. Among other items, the Title Company or attorney will check the title to the property, prepare necessary paperwork, and handle the receipt and distribution of all monies in the transaction (holds escrow deposit).
One to Two Weeks Following the Acceptance Date of the Contract
- Review any inspection amendment from the buyer with your agent and begin making agreed repairs
- Provide your agent with your preferred closing time
- Reserve your moving truck or schedule your moving service
- If contractually obligated to provide a termite clearance letter, you should call the company that provided your initial letter prior to listing
Most contracts require the sellers to furnish a termite clearance letter to the buyers. A licensed pest control operator must certify that the property is free from infestation by termites or other wood destroying organisms. If infestation is discovered, treatment and repair may be required. The cost of this inspection and any repairs is determined by the terms of the contract. The cost of the termite clearance letter is usually the responsibility of the buyer.
If the home will be subject to a mortgage, the buyers must arrange for a homeowner’s insurance policy covering the property. These arrangements must be made prior to closing and the policy must be present at the closing.
Re-Inspection of Repairs
In the event the seller is required to make repairs, sellers should be careful to hire reputable repairmen and keep good records of completion and payments involved. Buyers will normally have the property re-inspected to ensure satisfactory completion.
Prior to closing, both buyers and sellers should arrange to have the utilities transferred from one to the other. To accomplish this task, a date (usually the possession date) will be agreed upon for the transfer. The sellers notify the utility companies to cancel their services on that day. The buyers make applications with the various utilities and ask that their services be established on that same day.
Two Weeks Before Closing Date
- Get a change of address package from the post office
- Begin notifying family, friends, debtors, etc of address change
- Begin collecting information to pass on to the new owner (receipts for appliances, warranty information, owner’s manuals, repair and contractor contact information and dates of service)
One Week Before Closing
- Call your utility companies to schedule the final readings and the disconnect dates
- Get directions to closing attorney’s office from your real estate agent
- Collect receipts and information in relation to the work done to satisfy the inspection amendment and give copies to your real estate agent
Day Before Closing
- Review the Settlement Agreement to verify that the terms of the contract are correct and pay special attention to the line items for water bills, homeowner association dues, and mortgage balances
- If you have any concerns, discuss them with your agent
- If there is a chance of any dispute, your agent will advise you to bring proof of payment to the closing
Day of Closing
- Bring a photo ID and any documents requested by the closing attorney or either real estate agent
- Bring your checkbook, just in case there is a small item that needs to be handled on the spot (this is usually not necessary, but it’s always nice to have that option)
- Bring updated termite clearance letter, if required by contract
- Give the new owner your forwarding address and phone number in case anything is accidentally sent to you at the old address