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Pre-Closing Tasks to When Selling Your Home

Love Selling Your Home Series: Pre-Closing Tasks When Selling Your Home

This series, Love Selling Your Home: Minimize Your Stress, Maximize Your Profit, is a step-by-step guide that covers everything you need to know to sell your home in today’s market, from finding a real estate agent to all the way to settlement day.

You’re now one step closer to officially selling your home. Even though you have a contract with buyers, you’re not done yet.

There’s a lot to get completed before closing day, and you might feel like your “to-do” list keeps growing and growing. And, you’re right!

Keep in mind that no one wants the transaction to fall through or be delayed at this stage because of a mishap. Here’s what you need to focus on:

What to Expect

Try not to be too distracted by moving logistics or good-bye parties. It’s important to be very organized in the days leading up to your closing.

Make sure you focus on the things you need to get done in your home and also the items that need to be prepared for the actual settlement.

Most importantly, you don’t want anything missing or forgotten, especially any important paperwork when you meet with the buyers to transfer your home to them.

Depending on your contract, you may or may not need to be out of your home by the agreed upon settlement date. For example, some sellers may rent back from the buyers for a short period before they move.

You’ll face three different steps in these pre-closing days – a home inspection by buyers, any home preparation or repairs completed by you, and the gathering of any documents for the actual closing day.

Home Inspection by Buyers

Your contract may include a contingency that gives the buyers a certain number of days to complete an inspection by a professional.

On the day of the inspection, you should not be at the home but your agent can be present as your representative. You can be available via phone to answer any questions though. Make sure all of the utilities are on even if you have moved out at this point.

Depending on the inspector’s report, the buyers may ask for repairs, try to renegotiate the price to compensate for handling the repairs themselves, or even cancel the contract if they wish.

Preparing Your Home

It can be a whirlwind of activity in the final days of living in your home. However, you do want it ready for the new homeowners and not have any loose ends. You may be moving out … but they are moving in!

  • Make any necessary repairs after the home inspection if agreed upon. Collect any receipts and information on this work to prove you have satisfied any inspection amendments.

  • Disconnect the utilities on settlement date. You should schedule a final reading too.

  • Contact your insurance company to forward your mail with the post office. Notify others of your change of address.

  • Organize any information to pass on to the new owners about the home, such as appliance information (receipts and manuals); warranties; repair records for appliances, water heater, furnace, etc.; and any contractor dates of service. This is when your home maintenance manual comes in handy!

  • Collect and label all keys to every door, any mailboxes, garages, outdoor shed, etc. Plan to bring them to settlement to hand over to the buyers.

  • Make sure the house is in "broom swept" condition after you move out. Usually the buyers will complete a walk-thru before heading over to where you’ll meet to close on the home.

Preparing for Settlement

Your agent will go over everything you need to have done and to bring on settlement day.

  • Call your bank and make sure they have your new mailing address. They will need to send you loan information and the balance in your escrow account.

  • Bring information about where you'd like your proceeds from the sale to be sent to by the Title Company, etc.

  • Double check that the entity who is handling the closing has all the necessary documents and they will be ready to be signed by the settlement date. Place a call to confirm they have received all necessary documents so there are no surprises on that day.

  • Now is the time to discuss any concerns with your agent if you anticipate any disputes. Don’t wait for the actual day, but rather anticipate during these pre-closing days to settle any concerns.

As your agent, my job is to keep you on track and make sure you know what to do when, so nothing falls through the cracks. That’s my responsibility as your agent, not yours! Just know if we work together to sell your home, I have a system that ensures you know what you need to do when, and even how to do it. I leave nothing to chance and do as much as I can to make sure this part of the under contract phase goes as smoothly as possible for you.

You just learned that you’ll be busy with many pre-closing details, which includes moving too. That’s why the next article is perfect -- Get Organized for the Big Move & Beyond. Here’s the help you need in order to say “goodbye” to your old home and say ”hello” to your new one!

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