Watch this Episode of Home Trends with Ken for My 5 Top Tips for A Smooth Closing. Video: 5 Top Tips for Sellers to Assure a Smooth Closing The top tips are summarized below as well.
Congratulations, you have a contract for the purchase of your home. You’re all done, right? Not quite yet. Helping you find the right buyer is just the first step. You’ll now enter into the closing phase which typically takes from 30 to 45 days in the DC area. Because each real estate transaction is unique, it's vital to have a skilled real estate agent like me working for you who will help you navigate through any complex issues. With that in mind, here are my 5 top tips to help assure a smooth closing.
Tip 1: Cooperate with the Settlement Agent: The settlement agent will handle very important aspects of your transaction, including conducting a title search. Attorney and settlement agent, Jeff Nowak of Cobalt Settlements emphasizes that sellers “should not pack up financial documents until the settlement agent has confirmed that it has received all the information to deal with any liens shown by the title search.” He also emphasizes that “obtaining payoff statements from lenders and homeowners or condominium associations can take up to 7-10 business days, so it is important that you provide the settlement agent with the contact information for those entities as soon as possible after the contract is finalized.”
Tip 2: Keep the Home Show Ready Until Important Contingencies Have Been Removed: The buyer’s contract may include contingencies for home inspections, a financing contingency, and an appraisal contingency. It is important that the property be maintained in show condition at least until these contingencies have been removed, because presentation and condition will influence the appraisers and inspectors perceptions of property value and condition. And if the contract falls through based on any of these contingencies, you’ll be ready to get the home right back on the market for other buyers.
Tip 3: Gather Home-related Information: I recommend designating a box in your home where you can leave behind house-related items for the new homeowners. The box could include items such as appliance handbooks, a list of service providers for the home, and any codes for thermostats or doors. Providing this information to the buyers upon closing helps avoid calls and emails from them to you at a later time.
Tip 4: Plan Your Move Carefully: Don’t underestimate the amount of time you will need to pack up and move. Professional movers can greatly assist in the process. If you are doing this yourself, start early! You should be out of the home at least 1 day before closing, in case the buyer wants to conduct a final walk through of the property prior to closing.
Tip 5: Make Arrangements for Closing Day: If you cannot come to the settlement yourself, be sure to notify the settlement agent and make alternate arrangements.
If you have any questions not addressed here about selling your home, and the closing process in particular, please don't hesitate to contact me.