17 May Closing on a House: What Sellers Should Expect
What Sellers Should Know About Closing on a House
Accepting an offer on your home is huge – closing on the house sale is even bigger. Learn about what exactly to expect during your closing and tips to make sure it is successful before you hand over the keys:
What Exactly Is the Closing?
Closing is a fancy word for the process in which your home’s title is legally transferred from seller to buyer, and payment is transferred to the seller. For you, the seller — it’s also the time that you’ll pay off any remaining home loans, taxes, as well as anyone involved in selling your house. Once you’ve closed on your home sale, though, guess what? You get to leave with a check in your hand. The following are just a few things you, the seller, can expect at closing.
A variety of factors will influence how much you might have to pay at closing. Unless you’re selling with very low equity in your home, you’ll get a check, don’t worry. But unless otherwise stipulated in the contract, a sellers’ closing costs often include things like:
- Loan payoff costs
- Transfer taxes
- Title insurance fees
- Liens against the property
- Agent commission
Don’t worry — there shouldn’t be any surprises. Your real estate agent will keep you updated on the process as closing approaches, and will walk you through each step.
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You Might Meet the Buyer; You Might Not
Although it’s often easier for the buyer and seller to close at the same time, in some places (Missouri for instance) it’s not a required practice. The buyer and seller have the option to close at different times, even closing with different companies. In these cases, it’s not unusual that the two parties never even meet with one another.
If the buyer is present at closing, expect to wait through a lot of paperwork and a lot of signatures (the buyer finalizes their mortgage at closing). The buyer has far more paperwork to sign than the seller.
Hand Over the Keys
All the paperwork required at closing will already be prepared upon arrival. Your real estate agent, the buyer’s agent, the title company, lenders, and lawyers do the heavy lifting in advance. Whether or not the buyer is present at your closing or not, after the funds have been transferred and both parties have signed the paperwork, you’ll hand over the keys.