When you and the buyer agree on the terms and sign the contract, the buyer will usually need to find a lender and obtain a loan. Your REALTOR® may follow the loan process which could take up to several weeks. During this time, your REALTOR® will also be coordinating arrangements preparation for the closing.
There are normally several steps to the closing table:
As part of procedure, the title company usually orders a survey of your property and researches the title to your home, making sure the "chain of title" is clear. Clearing the title may require clearing any liens or monetary claims against the property. Such liens include mechanic's liens, unpaid state and federal tax liens, court judgments, and probate considerations which can occur if a co-owner is deceased.
The culmination of the title search produces title insurance, abstract of title, or certificate of title, on whatever instrument is commonly used in your area.
Inspection and repairs
The buyer or mortgagee usually will require an inspection of your home, your REALTOR® may coordinate the schedule of these inspections. An inspection is to examine many items in the property such as structural, foundation, roofing, electrical and plumbing systems. The inspector provides a report to the buyer the items that the inspection finds to be in need of repair. Usually the buyer will provide the seller's agent a copy of the inspection report and may ask you to complete certain repairs. Don't be surprised when the inspection finds some items in need of repair. A trained inspector will usually discover defects that aren't obvious to you and your REALTOR®. Even new or even well maintained homes may have some items in need of repair.
The seller has little to do after signing the contract, but can avoid snags by staying aware of progress on both sides.
Be aware if the buyer is having trouble getting a loan. If the buyer is turned down, it could mean the whole deal is off, and your house would have to go back on the market. Shortly before the closing date, make sure all the necessary papers and documents are in possession of the right parties.
There are common snags in any closing. Documents misplaced, delayed or lost. Common last-minute snags can be avoided with the right preparation.
Documents you will need
- Any changes of the closing date, time or place should be relayed to all involved parties. and they should be reminded a week before closing and once more the day before.
- Anyone required to sign the deed to the property by which you grant title needs to have provided signatures.
- Be aware of when and how you will be paid. Most likely you won't leave the closing table with a check.
- If you are simultaneously buying another property, you may be able to arrange a back to back closing on the new property and assign the funds from your sale to the purchase of the new property.
If there were contingencies involved you need to provide documentation showing that any contingencies have been satisfied.
- Any and all documents needed for transfer of title such as: certificate of title, deed, correcting affidavits, quitclaim deeds, survey and title insurance policy or binder.
- Your homeowners insurance policy and any documentation needed If the buyer plans to take over the unused portion of your hazard insurance. Be sure in advance your insurance agent has all paperwork completed on time.
- Prorations for insurance premiums, property taxes, accrued interest on assumed loans and if the utilities are not being shut off between owners, receipts for payment of the most recent water, electric and gas bills.
- A document from your mortgage holder showing the mortgage balance and the date interest has been prepaid.
Your REALTOR® should review all of these steps with you before the approach of the closing date and make sure all snags have been removed. If you have any qualms about the process, contact a qualified real estate attorney and consult with them.
Give us a call and we can discuss the steps with you personally,
- Ingle Realty Team