Eager to Close on Your Home? Here’s What You Need to Know
The road to closing is long and arduous. It is fraught with offers and counter-offers, disclosures, document exchanges, retrieval of documents, inspections, appraisals, and verifications, phone calls, and text messages. For the buyer, the closing table is much more document-heavy and laborious. For home sellers, the closing table represents the final goodbye and thus carries unique emotions—as one bids farewell to the place they once called home. Whatever side you are on, it is a day to remember, so here’s what you need to know about closing on your home and what to expect.
The Closing Table Finalizes the Transaction
The closing is also known as a “settlement,” and it happens about 30 to 90 days after the buyer submits the winning bid. It is the day that everything has been verified and final transactions occur between buyer and seller to legally transfer the property.
First Base: The Purchase Offer and Sales Agreement
If the closing table is home base, then accepting the purchase offer and sales agreement is first base on this paperwork-ridden ride. This step is the first milestone to getting the ball rolling on a home sale. This document contains important details that must be verified before proceeding. The Sales Agreement will have specifications on:
- A detailed description of the property’s condition
- Included or not-included appliances or fixtures
- Earnest money amount
- Any other conditions that must be met
At this stage, the purchase price is also confirmed. The buyer’s form of payment is established (cash or loan) as well as the amount of down payment. There are other contingencies at this point as well that detail important deadlines that affect both parties. For example, if the buyer doesn’t have an inspection done on time, the seller is not always obligated to make the repairs that emerge after the fact.
Your Real Estate Agent is Your Ticket to a Smooth Ride
The bottom line? Having a good team behind you means you don’t have to agonize over the process.
Whether you are the home seller or the buyer, the people in your corner make the difference between a smooth transaction process and one saturated with confusion, mistakes, and delays. Professional agents knee-deep in the local market and the home selling process will make the process smooth sailing. You’ll step into the closing room like a champ.
Here are a few things to note. The deadlines for buyers typically look like this:
- Deposit of the earnest money
- Home inspection period
- Financing approval period
- Appraisal period
- Closing date
For Home Sellers
As a home seller in the transaction, the closing day marks the end of an era—assuming you have lived in your home for some time. As the seller, you also are liable for the property until the settlement is signed so ensure to keep things locked and shut off water valves until that final transfer. Check with your agent on what else you need to do to prepare for the final day.
By the closing date, you will have:
- All agreed-upon repairs completed and marked off
- Ensured the property is in the agreed condition
- Made final negotiations on price
- Bring keys or passcodes on the day
As a seller, it is not always necessary that you attend the closing, but many owners see this as a chance to meet the buyers of their home. Some home sellers, however, choose to pre-sign the documents, so only the buyers are at the table on the day. Some transactions or states may require it. During covid, for example, closings were often done virtually, having only one party in the room at a time.
For the Buyers
The road to the closing table can be a little more uncertain for buyers, as there are more steps involved. Also, avoiding new debt during this period is key to avoiding last-minute hurdles or changes to credit scores. Prior to the closing table, buyers must have been approved for the loan, have signed disclosure statements, moved through an inspection, and completed the appraisal. Final closing costs, escrow amounts, and interest rates are part of the closing disclosure. The number should be similar to the original loan estimate.
Buyers will usually be accompanied by their agent at the closing table. Here buyers will need the following:
- Social security number
- Their cashier’s check for a down payment
- A valid form of identification
- A new homeowners insurance binder (agreement from a home insurance company)
So all of the paperwork in the last month, the back and forth with your lender and real estate agent add up to the closing table. It is here that all:
- Final lender requirements are met
- Homeowners insurance is locked in
- The settlement statement will be reviewed and signed
- All closing documents will be signed and notarized
- The home deed is submitted and recorded by the local county
- Specific instructions on how the buyer is obtaining keys
Sign Up for a Smooth Ride with a Professional Home Selling Team
For people who don’t participate in real estate transactions regularly, the process appears convoluted, confusing, and overly complicated. In many ways, it is. There are a lot of technical aspects to finalizing a transaction of that size—especially because various parties are involved and government regulations must be met. This is why you need a trusted home selling team behind you.
Ready to sell? The market is hot. And even when it’s not, you need a competent home selling partner to get things done. Call Brian Burds and his team today.