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What Should Home Sellers Expect At Closing?

Selling a home isn’t easy. I’m not talking about finding a buyer. What I mean is ensuring that the buyer will stay committed to closing the deal.

You shouldn’t focus alone on making the necessary repairs needed in the property. You also have to consider the costs. Which fees to pay and which ones you shouldn’t. There’s also the people you have to involve to make everything legal. And lastly, what you should expect and do in case something unexpected happens.

These are just a few examples of what to expect at closing the deal on a property purchase. Below are more scenarios and in-depth explanations. You’ll also find some useful tips for common closing day problems.

1.  Final-walkthroughs

24 hours before the final closing, the buyer and their agent will tour the house one last time. This will typically take half an hour without you. They will go to every room and see to it if the agreed reparations have been done.

They’ll also check light switches and appliances to see if they’re working in proper condition. Don’t think of this as nerve-wracking. It’s simply a routine for the buyer to make sure their money is spent right.

2.  Waiting, reading, and signing terms

During the final closure day, a lot of patience will be needed. You might have to sign multiple documents. Sometimes it will take hours for everyone in both parties and others involved reading the documents before the signing takes place.

3.  Closing costs

It is the seller’s job to cover most of the costs before the transfer of keys to the new owner. There’s not only one fee you have to pay. Here’s a visual chart provided by OpenDoor of what to expect for paying closing costs.

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The variable part of the average fee will either be paid by both you and the buyer or by yourselves individually. It depends on the negotiation and situation.

4.  Last-minute dramas and delays

Let’s just say the buyer wants to renegotiate at the final closing day. If they have found some problems during the final-walkthrough, they have the right to address their concerns. You can always delay the closure to tend to the problem just to seal the deal.

Sometimes there are renegotiations that can be solved without making changes to the terms and documents. This situation is up to you. If you want, agree to their terms on the closing day.

If the renegotiated terms bring major changes such as a high price drop, that could be a problem. The delay might take a while, especially for homebuyers that are on a loan as their side would need to make adjustments with their creditor.

5.  Proper preparation

To make the closing day smooth-sailing, you have to prepare yourself and your home 30 days before it. Do the final reparations. Ready the appropriate documents such as the deed of sale. Schedule the proper people to handle the transaction for the appointment.

Look around your house and find if there are any missing or hidden objects that the buyer might find and use as a reason to complain. Do some cleaning or reset the security codes.

6.  A few people present

You’re not going to be alone with the buyer on closing day. It depends, if there are real estate agents involved, they are going to be present as well. A title company representative, real estate attorney, and a loan officer will be present at the closing day as well.

7.  The unexpected

A lot of things can happen within a week or month before a closing day comes. But the worst thing would be the buyer backing out, especially when you’ve already done some repairs and scheduling.

Remember, if the seller isn’t bound by a purchase contract, they’re not obligated to finalize in buying your home. But, if they are, then they can be sued for a breach. However, they can get away with the rule if there are contingency periods.

They can also back out three days after even if they’ve signed the closure documents. It’s called the “right of rescission”. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances it will cost the buyers some money, sometimes it won’t.

To play safe when selling a home, always make sure that you and a buyer are bound by a purchasing contract. When you do, be extra careful and follow the terms of sale properly. Or, you can choose to have no purchasing contract yet keep a backup buyer just in case the primary buyer gets cold feet.

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