Step 7: Head To Closing
The good news: You’re almost home free (or free of your home in this case). You’ve accepted the buyer’s offer, the negotiations are finally winding down, and there is only one more little box to check: closing.
OK, so maybe it isn’t a little thing. And maybe you’re a little worried something is still going to go wrong, but that’s why Steve and the Nashville Home Guys are here! We will show you how to get through closing without a hitch—or barely a hitch (hey, stuff happens).
Get the repairs done
First things first: You’ve got to get those repairs done. We get it—the last thing you want to do now is work on a house you are about to sell. But if you agreed to make repairs or improvements, don’t put them off until the last minute.
“The aim should be to have all repairs done the week before closing so there no last minute hiccups that can delay the closing,” says Steve. Getting things done ahead of time will give you plenty of wiggle room if something should still go wrong, or if the buyer finds a problem during the final walkthrough (more on that to come).
So check the Repair/Relacement Amendment you and the buyer agreed to and get to it—and don’t forget to cover yourself. Save receipts from items purchased and invoices from contractors, and take before and after photos of any work completed. You will have proof that repairs were completed on the off chance that the buyers contest them during the walkthrough or at closing.
The final walkthrough
Before your closing date—often 24 hours before—the buyers and the buyers’ agent will do one more walkthrough of the house (for which you should not be present). They will go through every room of the house, inside and outside—a process that typically takes about a half hour. Some buyers will go into detail, testing every light switch. But in most cases, the buyer is just looking to make sure agreed-upon repairs were made and no new issues have crept up before closing.
“Sometimes, a leak may have started under a sink or the roof may have sprung a leak that is new and will need to be repaired before closing,” Steve adds. If the buyers do find an issue, you may have a chance to fix the problem to keep the closing on track.
If the problem is big enough, you may have to delay your closing date to give time for the repair. But that only happens occasionally.
Many closings go smoothly. By this point, the buyers are excited to get into their new house, agreed-on repairs have been made, and the sellers are ready to get out. If things are going smoothly, the closing for you might boil down to a blur of paperwork. "The closing attorney will walk you through the process, explaining each document and all the places that you will need to sign to finalize the transaction,” Steve says. He goes on to add, “Most buyers and sellers will use different title attorneys so pay attention that the numbers agree with what you were expecting. If not, say something so that the problem can be fixed."
Once the negotiations are handled and the papers are signed, the buyers’ funds are transferred to your attorney, who will handle the payments to cover your loan and pay your real estate team. Thankfully, this part is handled by someone else. And then comes the best part: You’ll get a check for the remainder, usually the same day in most states depending on the closing time!
Next we’ll cover the last step: Officially moving out and moving on!
NEXT: Step 8: Move On Out!