Wednesday, 01 April 2020

Home Sellers Pre-Closing Checklist-Be Prepared and Make Closing Day a Pleasure

Written by Posted On Thursday, 06 February 2020 17:35

We all know that selling a house is a multi-step process. You list it on the market. You prepare everything for the showing. You finally get an offer, and you accept it. So, what's next?

For most people, they only think about packing and moving. However, there are other things that you need to take care of. Below is a helpful list of things to do so you'll have a stress-free and smooth closing.

Keep The Deal Alive

At this point, your top priority is to ensure that the deal remains alive. You may have to do some transactional-related tasks. In most cases, the buyer will do an inspection and appraisal.

Keep in mind that inspection and appraisal are the two most common contingencies found in real estate contracts, especially if its a residential structure. Hence, it's best that you focus on these two events during the early stages.

But before the inspection and appraisal, make sure that the loan payoff information has already been ordered. This part should have been dealt with before the property is even listed. But it is a common oversight that it's worth reiterating.

Loan Payoff Information should not be overlooked as it takes a lot of time, and it can bog down the closing if it's not prepared soon enough. The Loan Payoff Information allows the closing company to know how much is the required pay off to your current mortgage holder. Of course, this does not apply if the house is not carrying any debt. For the Loan Payoff Information, the realtor will require the social security number (last four digits only), account number, and the loan company. Once you know that the loan payoff information has been ordered, you can now shift your attention to the inspection and appraisal events.

Home Inspection Preparation

Getting ready for the home inspection is crucial for plenty of reasons. For one, buyers will typically spend more time checking out the house compared to the showings. Hence, make sure that your home is in the best condition possible. A messy or poorly staged home may trigger a buyer's remorse. Also, make sure the inspector can access the electric panel, water heater, and furnace quickly and effortlessly.

If the buyer wants to check for radon, the inspector will give you instructions. Make sure that you follow it to the letter.

It's always a good practice that you leave the house during the home inspection. Any clarification or questions by the buyer or inspector can be addressed after the inspection.

Post Inspection Requests

Once the home inspection is completed, you will often receive a list of issues that have been discovered. And, a repair request after that is to be expected. Generally, you will need a licensed contractor to do the repair requests. In most cases, a realtor will recommend a reputable contractor, and it's usually better to take the recommendation to minimize potential problems. 

Repair Receipts

Most of the time, the buyer's party will stipulate that a licensed contractor will do the items on the repair requests list. Hence, you must forward copies of the contractor's receipts to your agent. It would be best if you did this at least 48-hours prior to the walk-through. Even if a repair was not part of the repair requests, it's still a good idea to forward the receipt copies to your agent. By doing so, the agents will skip bothering you if something fails with the repair in the future as they already have most of the information.

Appraisal Preparation

Same with the home inspection, you should also take appraisal preparation seriously. And, that means you'd want the home to be in the best condition possible. Additionally, you want to make sure that the appraiser can access all the rooms and areas effortlessly. Being prepared is the key if you want to Ace your Appraisal!

Homeowner's Insurance

You'd want to cancel the homeowner's insurance policy the day after the official closing. It's worth mentioning that you may have an unused portion of the homeowner's insurance policy, and that could mean you are eligible for a refund. You'd want to ask the insurance agent about this subject at the time of cancelling the policy.


You will need to contact your utility companies. It's either you need to cancel the service or do a transfer of service. Most of the utility companies will often ask for the name of the buyer.

Organize Paperwork

Organize relevant documents such as warranties, instructions, or manuals for the buyer. By doing so, you'll avoid any hiccups after the closing.

Fund Notification

Notify your agent on how you would like to receive your funds.

School Records

In cases you will be transferring to a new area, and you have kids, it will be an excellent idea to have the school records transferred to the new school.

Veterinarian Records

 If you have pets, you'd also want the vet records to be transferred to your new vet.

Change Of Address

You'd want to notify the USPS that you are moving your home address. Thus, file a change of address with them. You can also conveniently do it at

House Plants

Most people don't realize that most movers don't move houseplants. Also, it's possible to run into issues if you move plants across state borders. If you have house plants, decide beforehand whether you'd want to gift them or take them with you.

Hazardous Waste

Properly dispose of hazardous waste or materials such as poisons, corrosives, or flammable liquids. Most municipalities will have a department that will receive hazardous materials or waste.

Final Walk-Through

It's common for buyers to have a final walk-through as a way to ensure all requests are completed. The buyer will also check for the items that are included with the sale at this point. It's also good practice to do your own final walk-through with your listing agent beforehand to avoid complications or unwanted surprises.

Confirm Closing

Check the location, time, and date of the closing. Your agent will have the information. It's common for title companies to have different locations. Thus acquire the information beforehand.

Photo ID

Bring a photo ID. Passport or Driver's License is what's preferred.

Keys To The Mansion

Bring all the house keys to the closing. Don't forget the garage openers if there are any. 

You mustn't leave items in the house that you don't know what to do or items you don't want. This can become an issue during the closing. In most cases, the buyer will create an agreement to remove these items before the closing can proceed. Hence, make arrangements for these items to be removed. You can contact a commercial removal company or the local charity to help you deal with the items.

If you want to dig into more detail about the things you as a home seller can do to stack the odds of a smooth closing in your favor, here is an even more detailed version of this Home Sellers Pre-Closing Checklist.

Following the tips mentioned above don't always result in a smooth closing. However, it does increase the odds that you'll have one. Keep in mind that closing a house involves a lot of moving parts, and there are plenty of things that can go wrong. Hence, do what you can to minimize problems before they arise.

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Joe Boylan

I have been a Colorado Springs Realtor since 1997 and as a first-year agent, I received the Real Trends Magazine, "Rookie of the Year" Award. Since then I have participated in hundreds of real estate transactions.
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