Tuesday, 20 August 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Selling House Closing Checklist

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 14 August 2019 09:03
Selling House Closing Checklist Selling House Closing Checklist Selling House Closing Checklist

If you are in the process of selling your house, then you probably worry about all the things that will need to be taken care of once the house is sold. There always seems to be a million little details to tend to before you can relax at the end of the sale. To help you keep those details under control here is a selling house closing checklist that will give you some peace of mind that you are on top of everything.

Selling House Closing Checklist - How the Process Works

Everyone wants to be able to sell their home fast. Because of this, you’ll need to be prepared for each step of the process, so it can happen as smoothly and quickly as possible. Some things to do when selling include repairs, paperwork, and more.

Dealing with any Requested Repairs

Before the sale is finalized, the home buyer may request a home inspection. You can save yourself some hassle here by getting your own inspection done before the house is put up for sale. This also puts you in a position of strength if the buyer decides to be difficult about the inspection. Once you have a list of repairs that need dealing with you will need to sort them into repairs that you can tackle yourself and repairs that you will need to get a professional to handle. For professional repairs make sure that whoever you hire is reputable and keep any paperwork involved so that you can show it to the buyer. Note that anything beyond minor repairs will usually mean that the sale is open to renegotiation.

Finalize the Paperwork

Once you receive the settlement agreement for the sale of the house take a careful look through it to ensure that there are no details you take issue with. If there are then write them down and take them with you to the transfer appointment. To finalize the transfer you will probably have an appointment with your realtor and the buyers or their agents. Talk to your realtor to find out what you will need to take with you to the appointment. You will usually need photo identification for all the owners listed on the home contract. If you own the home outright then you will need the deed for the house. You'll need all the house keys and any codes required for security systems. If any repairs were required then you will also need to take documentation to prove that those repairs were carried out. It's a good idea to also take a pen and paper with you in case you need to write anything down.

Clean and Prepare Your Home for Transfer to the New Owner

Give your house a final clean before you leave it for the last time. In addition to being the friendly thing to do, it may make the new owner less inclined to cause issues if they have any second thoughts about their purchase of the house. You should also collect all the spare keys, garage door openers, and any other items that the new owner will need and leave them in a prominent place for the new owner to find. You'll probably have already handed the main set of keys to your real estate agent to give to the buyer, but there are usually other items they will need to ensure that they have access to those items. You may want to leave them a note about anything else they may need to know about the house too.

Transfer or Cancel Utilities

You'll need to cancel any utilities that can't be transferred to the new homeowner. Make a list of all the utilities for the house and track down all the documents and contact information you need to cancel them. You may be able to cancel some utilities online, which can save you some footwork and phone calls. Some utilities may be better off being transferred directly to the new owner, so talk with them or their agent to see if this is what they want. Your real estate agent will probably be able to help you out with some advice on the correct way to transfer utilities.

Cancel Your Homeowners Insurance

Once the legal transfer of the house is complete you will need to cancel the homeowners insurance for the property. If you have prepaid any of the insurance fees then you may receive a refund for the unused portion of the fees.

Other Things to Consider

You should wait until after the sale of the house is complete before cancelling household utilities and your homeowners insurance. The house is your responsibility until the new owner takes legal possession of it, so any damage that occurs to the house or to people on the premises can cause serious legal issues for you if you don't have insurance. Turning off the heat, power, and other utilities before the sale is fully complete will also make it hard to do repairs and cleaning to prepare the house for transfer to the new owner.

You should also make sure that all the paperwork for the sale is safely filed away. You may need to refer back to this paperwork if any issues crop up. Also consider creating copies of the documents and storing them at a separate location in case the original documents are lost or destroyed in a disaster.

Bottom Line

It’s recommended to plan accordingly when selling a house. Once your selling house closing checklist is complete your old house is no longer your problem. This is probably a good time to take stock of what you learned from the process of selling your home so that you can apply the knowledge to your new home. This can help you to avoid repeating any mistakes you may have made in case you decide to move again.

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Dalia Rotrammel

Cleaning business for over 20 years. Property Management. Mother of 2, grandmother of 1 beautiful girl. Foster parent.
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