Buying or selling a home is typically a lengthy process. For both parties involved, finally reaching the settlement stage can be stressful. Real estate professionals can help facilitate the process by ensuring that both parties have completed all necessary work and requirements before closing the deal. They can also help their clients get through the settlement by keeping a working list of essential details, otherwise known as a “closing checklist.” Let’s look at a few critical points of a solid closing checklist.
The title work must be checked thoroughly to ensure that the property is ready and can be transferred without any issues. Any issues with the title, like a lien, must be resolved before the closing date.
Sellers must complete all required inspection repairs to ensure the property is in good condition before closing. The buyer’s agent should regularly check on the status of the repairs following the home inspection. Once the repairs are complete, the buyers can confirm that the property is in good condition by completing a thorough walk-through. According to the Home Buying Institute, a walk-through can help assure that the items required to be fixed on the property after inspection are functioning correctly.
The real estate agent should also ensure that the mortgage lender has all the documents ready for the buyers. This includes the required financing documents and the monthly payment and interest rate information.
Before closing, both buyer and seller must pay all of the fees and expenses associated with the transaction. The mortgage lender will give the buyer the money required to close. If the buyer is not taking out a mortgage on the property, they must have the cash funds available to cover the settlement.
The final step before closing a real estate transaction is to review the settlement statement to ensure that it’s accurate. During this process, the buyer’s agent will review the documents to ensure all transaction details are correct. If the agent represents the seller, they will also ensure that the taxes, commissions, and allowances are correct.
Taking Possession of the Property
Generally, in real estate transactions, both parties agree to the transfer of the property from one party to the other. Once the parties have signed the settlement documents, and all expected funds have been transferred, the buyers can take ownership of the property. Usually, the buyers will obtain keys and actual possession to the property within a couple of hours following the closing.