The day is finally here, closing day!
After many long months of showings, staging, negotiations, inspections, and various headaches, you are ready to close this chapter of your life and move on. While you???ve enjoyed this house and all the wonderful memories, it is time to sell your house. Closings are the end of a real estate transaction. They signify the end of the negotiations and it means an agreement has been reached. Not only with you, the seller but also with the buyers and the real estate agents involved.
The components of a successful closing will include a final price, concessions, commissions, and what is due out of pocket from both parties. A closing cannot occur without the buyer obtaining financing and this part of the closing is completed and then the date was established. If you felt as though the closing date was far away it was probably due to the buyer working on their financing, inspections, and insurance. Before the closing can happen, the buyer must secure all these variables so the title to the house can be transferred.
The title office will have completed their end of the transaction by obtaining the legal right to transfer the house title. Just like a car, houses have titles to show ownership. When a new owner moves in, the title must be transferred to show ownership. If there are liens on the property from construction, unpaid taxes, or insurance issues, the house may not legally be conveyable. Conveyable simply means it cannot be bought and taken over by another party until the issues are cleared up. The title company will usually do a check on the property before the closing and alert both parties to any issues. By the time a closing day is at hand, these problems have been remedied. If you are concerned about an existing problem, talk with the title company. They welcome questions and will work with you to assuage your fears.
Aside from the technical side of a closing, there are some emotional and more human factors for which you can prepare.Here are some things to expect at a closing:
1. Don???t rush the process. Be prepared to be there for a while. There is a lot of paperwork and it is not a good idea to have appointments or other pressing engagements scheduled too soon after closing.
2. Don???t be nervous. You have fulfilled your end of the negotiations and now just need to double check and confirm the details.
3. If something goes wrong, there are professionals who have dealt with it all. Just like any other professional, a title officer has worked with clients for a long time. Even if they are new to the field, there are veterans within the title office that can work out almost any situation.
4. Bring your current ID, checkbook, and any paperwork from the past negotiations. As the seller, you shouldn???t have to dish out any money but there may be the rare occasion where there was a misunderstanding and there may be monies owed. Unless the amount is exorbitant, the title officer and your agent will usually recommend that you work with the buyer. It may be something as simple as you need to pay for the mailing costs associated with a document. Will you really want to dispute $15.00 and not close today?
5. Questions, questions, and more questions. The buyer may have a ton of questions and they deserve to have them answered. Don???t lose your patience or feel they shouldn???t have the ability to get the answers. The title officer and others in the room will ask questions as well.
6. A meeting room type setup. This is usually what surprises people. The process is formal. Depending on the title office, it may be a round table, long rectangular table, or a square table. It is usually not advisable to bring extra people to the closing table other than those involved in the transaction. Don???t bring your kids or your mother-in-law to the closing because there is personal info floating around and there may not be enough room.
7. The biggest thing to remember at a real estate closing is to be patient and give yourself enough time. There is a lot of information to cover and it is your responsibility to check what you???re signing. READ what you are signing. While your agent and title officer do not intend to make mistakes, they are human and mistakes can happen. You are signing your name to legal documents. If they are wrong, speak up, and they can be fixed. Even if the error is small, it needs to be correct because it is your name on the line.
This is an exciting time and if you???ve never gone through a real estate closing, it may be a bit scary. In all honesty, you are basically completing a huge sales transaction. It will seem like a lot of paperwork but that is a good thing because it covers you for all sorts of things and you should be sure you understand how it all works. The good thing is that every day people are closing on homes and having great success with their real estate transactions. Your agent and title officer will walk you through the process. It can help if you know what to expect and what not to do. These are professionals who have gone to school to learn how to perform these transactions so you can be assured that they know what they are doing.
After the closing, the new buyer will get the keys. Don???t spend a lot of money on new keys for them as more than likely, they will change the locks anyway. If you knew the old owner of your house had keys to your house, wouldn???t you want to change the locks? You can give them the old set of keys and it can be the proverbial handing over of the keys but keep in mind the locks will probably change. Also, be sure to bring all the keys for all the storage spaces, sheds, garage doors, and anything else in the house that needs a key.
Pat yourself on the back and thank those around you who helped you through this process. Move on with the next phase of your life!
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