Closing Details

Seller’s Handbook: Closing Details

Several professionals may come into the home-selling process after the offer is accepted, including:

  • a housing inspector (if hired by the buyer)
  • a termite inspector
  • an appraiser
  • attorneys who are affiliated with the buyer’s lending institution

Buyer's Loan Processing
If the buyer is financing the purchase of your house, the process will typically take 30 to 60 days. On the chance that a buyer’s financing will not be given final approval, you should keep the house in good showing condition.

Your Property Title
As part of the contract process, you must prove to the buyer that you have a clear title on the house - that you own the property, and that there are no legal claims against it. Proof of title is provided by:

  • The abstract of title being continued and certified by the abstractor as complete and accurate.
  • The attorney representing the buyer and/or financial institution then searches the title and issues an opinion that the title is clear.


Your Details
You sales associate or attorney can help you gather the paperwork that the contract requires. Some of the details you’ll probably need to handle include:

  • Notifying your lender that you will be paying off the mortgage and asking for a statement of what you owe. Your outstanding balance will be subtracted from the amount you receive from the seller.
  • Having any fix-up work done according to the contract so that final inspections may take place.
  • Gathering all warranties and instruction books for your home’s appliances or major systems to give to the buyer.
  • Once you have a closing date established, notifying the utility, telephone, water and other services to advise them on your final billing date.

Buyer's Final Inspection
A walk-through inspection several days prior to settlement allows the buyer to determine if conditions of the contract are satisfied. The buyer should have inspected and noted any defects during the contract negotiation and prior to signing the sales agreement. It is up to the buyer to perform the inspection. The buyer should be accompanied by the selling and/or the listing agent. The seller may or may not be present, but should make sure that utilities are on so that equipment can be operated.

Signing Papers and Passing Keys
At the settlement (closing), the home seller should bring all warranties on equipment (or leave them in an obvious place in the house) and instructions on equipment maintenance or operation. Be sure to bring all keys and electric door openers.

The real estate agent will explain the settlement sheets to you. These outline the closing costs to you. Typical costs for the seller include:

  • State deed transfer tax
  • Termite inspection
  • Loan discount fee
  • Mortgage balance pay-off
  • Interest on the mortgage up to the date the mortgage is paid-off
  • The real estate agent’s commission
  • Pro-rated taxes and homeowner’s association dues, if applicable
  • Homeowner’s warranty

If property or homeowner’s insurance have been in escrow with your lender, you’ll receive any money that is accumulated in that escrow account for bills not yet due. You’ll actually receive these funds at or after settlement.

The seller, the buyer and the agents receive a copy of the settlement sheets.

The listing broker’s closing department will actually disburse money after all the funds are in hand, the new lender has reviewed the papers, the title has been examined and the deed recorded.