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Closing the Deal!

You and your buyer agreed on a closing date as part of your purchase and sales contract. That date set the framework for everything that happens from the time escrow is opened until the final paperwork is recorded at the county courthouse. This period is known as closing.

The good news is that you now have an impartial third party working for you. Escrow will order the preliminary title report, the payoff balances from your lenders, the property tax balance due either to you or the county, and whatever other paperwork is essential for you to complete this deal.

Escrow also is gatekeeper for all the buyer has to do. They will see that the buyer’s loan documents arrive on time for the closing. Meanwhile, your real estate agent is working to remove the financing and inspection contingencies after you and the buyer agree that everything is in order.

When all the terms of your sales contract are met and all the loan documents have been prepared, escrow will prepare the HUD-1 settlement statement, which itemizes the money coming in and being paid out on your closing date. You and the buyer will have a chance to review the statement ahead of the meeting where you sign the final paperwork. The documents come from escrow.

Seller responsibilities

Your tasks as a seller during the closing period are to:
• Maintain the house in good condition
• Notify your utility companies of a final service date
• Prepare to move

Prior to closing day

A final walkthrough may be requested. This gives the buyer one last chance to view the property and make sure that agreed upon repairs are completed.

Closing day

The day your home transaction closes is the day your deed is sent to be filed at the county courthouse. You and the buyer will sign a stack of closing documents.

All bills will be paid, such as agent commissions, mortgage payoffs, and down payments. You will receive a proceeds check if one is due to you.

The buyer receives the keys, remotes for the garage doors, and possibly receipts from any work agreed to be done.

What to bring

• Photo ID – a driver’s license or passport
• A certified check, if required, in the amount told to you by escrow
• The keys and security codes for the house

Don’t forget to gather warranty and instruction books for heating, cooling, and plumbing systems and for appliances that will stay with the house. Leave them for the buyer when you move out.