Home Sellers- How Can You Avoid Surprises at the Closing Table?
I don’t know about you, but I have heard my fair share of horror stories from the closing table. There was the time that all of the appliances that were coming along with the home sale were conveniently “stolen” the day of the closing. How about the $7,000 in closing costs written into the purchase agreement that was not highlighted by the listing agent, so closing figures were dramatically different from what the seller expected. Or the “going-away” party that absolutely destroyed the lawn, plumbing, and flooring of the home…these (and many worse!) are absolutely true stories that have happened to people. There are, however, certain practices that can be employed to avoid these and other problems creeping up at the last minute of your deal.
Read Your Purchase Agreement Carefully and Ask Questions!- This is one of the biggest reasons to be using a Realtor© that you trust as well. Most people are not familiar with the details and language of this document, and considering what you are selling- you need to understand it completely as it applies to your home sale. Buyers can ask for a number of things in their offers, including money toward closing costs, home warranties, surveys, the use of specific vendors, certain items they’d like to remain with the home, and many other things. As the seller you have the ability to negotiate right back- which you can’t do from a good vantage point if you don’t understand the scope of what they’re requesting.
Obtain Closing Figures Before the Actual Date- When you are selling your home, perhaps the most important information is the bottom line figure of what you will receive at close. There are many debits and credits to calculate including existing mortgages, commissions, seller concessions, and so on. Your Realtor, mortgage loan officer and title provider should work together to be sure you have a final number before the day of closing so there are no surprises waiting for you when it comes to numbers.
Use a Reputable Title Agency- Title insurance not only protects you against any future issues with ownership of your home, but they also ensure there are no issues with transferring the deed at close. Trust me, the myriad of problems that are avoided by using a good title company are well worth the small price of the service and policy.
Employ a Realtor©You Trust- Selling your home yourself without a Realtor© can seem attractive to save on paying commissions. A good agent, however, is worth that price and more. The detailed legal contracts, marketing of the property, and showings and open houses are the obvious things done by your agent. Additionally, their knowledge and expertise in your corner can be invaluable to you in assisting with the issues and surprises that can come up- and solve these matters before you’re signing on the dotted line.
No one can predict the future, but employing these tips and seeking the advice of your trusted Realtor© will help you to avoid issues when closing on your home sale. Oh, and those stolen appliances? New versions of them magically appeared in the driveway about a week later after the listing agent refused to accept the obvious lie. I guess the criminals must have felt generous that day.