Guide to CLOSINGList your Home for Sale
Your home's title is clear, the appraisal has come in high, the property passed the inspection and you’ve signed off on all of the contingencies. It’s closing time! Here’s what to expect.
ClosingIn real estate jargon, “closing” is when the buyer receives the title to the property and you get paid. In reality, closing may refer to the entire escrow process, which generally takes between four and six weeks.
The closing process varies from state to state, and even from region to region within states, depending on custom or tradition. In some areas, closing is handled by title agencies; in other areas, real estate attorneys take care of the procedures.
Regardless of whether it’s an attorney or a title agent, the closing agent will:
• Ensure that any liens on the property are paid
• Record a deed that conveys title to the buyer
• Ensure that loan requirements are fulfilled
• Collect funds from the buyer and disburse payment to the seller
As a FSBO seller, during the closing process you’ll be responsible for:
• Opening an escrow account
• Keeping track of the buyer’s progress in securing a loan
• Procuring title and ensuring that its clear of clouds or defects
• Creating disclosures
• Dealing with results of inspections by fixing problems or renegotiating
• Signing the deed
• Closing escrow
The day before the closing, gather the documents that you’ve accrued during the escrow process. You may need to refer to them at the closing. Include documents such as:
• Proof of title search
• Title insurance
• Good faith estimate
• Inspection and appraisal reports
• Home owners and mortgage insurance
You’ll also need to bring your driver’s license or other photo ID, and keys and security codes for the property.
The closing meeting usually takes place at a title agency office or in an attorney’s office, depending on the state. Expect to see the buyer, her lender, a representative from the title company and the closing agent, who may be a title company officer or an attorney.
At the closing, be prepared to sign massive amounts of paperwork and legal documents -- and take the time to read each one carefully.
Once the documents have been signed, you'll hand over the keys. You should expect to receive your funds within one to two days.
Congratulations -- you've just sold your own home!
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