Checklist for Closing on Your Own Home

alpharetta real estate

Now that you have a contract on your house, you are approximately half-way to completing the sale. Details become even more important now, since sales are lost when necessary details are not handled properly.

closing on homeMark your calendar with time-critical dates from the contract and on all amendments, attachments and forms. (Such as when the property inspection must be complete, when the buyer must have financing approval, and all other contingency dates.) If you overlook these dates, you may lose the sale or be in breach of contract – both of which may have financial and legal implications. If your buyer is working with a real estate agent, you may be relieved of some of the following duties, but you will need to coordinate with the agent to make sure all details are covered.

Below are lists of items and approximate time frames for their completion:

Immediately Upon Acceptance of the Contract

  • Follow-up on any terms outlined in the contract (providing homeowner association paperwork, septic tank clearance letter, Termite Clearance Letter, etc)
  • Contact the buyer to see when the inspection is scheduled
  • Confirm that the buyer has applied for financing (only if prospect has not been pre-approved) and secure the lender’s contact information
  • Call the lender to provide your contact information and determine when the appraisal will be scheduled so you can be onsite for this process

During The Home Inspection

  • This will take approximately two hours and you should be onsite to answer any questions
  • You will need to provide access to all areas of the home (crawlspaces, attics, etc) to the inspector
  • If the property is currently vacant, be sure all utilities are on prior to the inspection

One to Two Weeks Following the Acceptance Date of the Contract

  • Negotiate the proposed inspection amendment from the buyer
  • Ensure that you are meeting the requirements of the contract, meeting all deadlines, and that the process is moving forward (use your calendar to monitor daily)
  • Contact the buyer to determine a mutually agreeable closing time
  • Call the closing attorney’s office to schedule the closing
  • Reserve your moving truck or schedule your moving service
  • Update the Termite Clearance Letter (no longer required, but still recommended and should be after the inspection amendment is finalized) and if the home was pre-inspected, call the company for an updated letter or schedule an inspection
  • Contact the buyer’s lender to make sure they have all necessary information
  • Ask the lender if they will be able to meet the closing date
  • Get contact information on the closing attorney
  • Provide the closing attorney with current mortgage loan(s) information and/or equity line of credit information (this should include your account numbers, contact information for the lender(s) and your personal information)
  • Request directions to the closing from the closing attorney
  • Begin making repairs included in the contract and/or inspection amendment

Two Weeks Before Closing Date

  • Get a change of address package from the post office and begin notification process
  • Begin collecting information to pass on to the new owner (receipts for appliances, warranty information, owner’s manuals, repair and contractor contact information and dates of service)
  • Contact buyer to inform them that all agreed repairs have been completed
  • Contact loan officer to ensure that there have been no problems and that no further information is needed from you

One Week Before Closing

  • Call your utility companies to schedule the final readings and the disconnect dates
  • Call Lender to ensure that the buyer has been informed of the exact amounts needed in certified funds
  • Call the buyer with information about the utility company changes so they may do the “switch over” at the utility company offices
  • Collect receipts and information in relation to the work done to satisfy the inspection amendment and provide copies for the buyer

Two Days Before

  • Take your preliminary HUD 1 Settlement Agreement to your attorney for his or her review
  • Verify that the terms of the contract are correct and pay special attention to the line items for water bills, homeowner association dues, and mortgage balances
  • If you have any concerns, discuss them with your own attorney
  • If there is a chance of any dispute, your attorney will advise you to bring proof of payment to the closing
  • Contact the buyer to schedule the final walk-through

Day of Closing

  • Bring a photo ID
  • Bring any documents requested by the closing attorney or the buyer
  • Bring your checkbook, just in case there is a small item that needs to be handled on the spot (this is usually not necessary, but it’s always nice to have that option)
  • Give the new owner your forwarding address and phone number in case anything is accidentally sent to you at the old address

Jeff’s Note: One of the most frequently overlooked items that can delay a closing is the lack of certified funds for closing. If you are working without an agent, you may want to remind the buyer that these funds are needed at the closing, just in case they don’t know. You may want to let them know that getting funds from certain sources, such as stocks and equity lines, can take up to three days

See what other buying and selling checklists can help your real estate ventures go smoothly.