Post details: How to Sell Your Home - Part 4


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How to Sell Your Home - Part 4

The buyer and your real estate agent, if you are using one, can arrange the settlement and select the settlement agent, per your approval. The person who handles the closing may be a broker, lender, title insurance company, escrow company, or attorney.

Frequently, closing is dictated by the necessity of the buyer in arranging financing, usually a period of 30 to 60 days.

Look over any terms in the contract that state when the buyer wants to take possession. If you aren't moved out by that date, you are often obligated to pay rent to the buyer.

Finishing the Details
Your attorney, if you are selling your home yourself, or your real estate agent, can help you line up any of the paperwork that the contract has called for you to supply, such as the title insurance or a survey.

- Expect the buyer's lender to send an appraiser and a surveyor to check your home.
- Notify your lender that you will be paying off the mortgage and ask for a statement of what you owe. Your outstanding balance will be subtracted from the amount you'd receive from the seller. (Any penalty for paying off the mortgage early will also be subtracted.)
- Have fix-up work done according to the contract so that final inspections may take place.
- Gather all warranties and instruction books for your home's appliances or major systems to give to the buyer.
- Once you have a closing date, notify the utility, telephone, water, trash, and other services to advise them of your final billing date. Utility companies should make final meter readings on the day of closing.

Settling Up
- Prior to closing, your buyer may wish to make a final inspection (or walk-through) to see that the home is still in good condition.
- Ask your settlement agent for a copy of the closing costs before closing. This document is known as the closing statement or settlement sheet and will contain most of the charges you'd be asked to pay.
- You may pay a loan discount fee or service fee. This fee, known as points, is one percent of the buyer's mortgage amount and charged by the lender to adjust its yield to reflect current market interest rates. For VA-guaranteed loans, the seller pays the points; otherwise, points are a negotiable item.
- Depending on your area, you might pay for charges related to the title such as title insurance or attorney's fees.
- The buyer will likely pay the fee for recording the mortgage, while you may be asked to pay the transfer fee and the deed-recording fee. Other fees, such as settlement agent fees, document preparation, notary services, or warranty coverage, are charged for preparation of closing. Discuss which fees you will be responsible for with your real estate agent.
- Typically, you as the seller will pay the real estate agent's fee. If two brokers are involved, the fee is divided between them.
- After the balance you owe on your mortgage is subtracted from your proceeds, as well as any early payment penalties, you also may pay a small charge to have the title cleared.
- You will be responsible for paying your prorated share of property taxes and hazard insurance until the date of settlement. If these charges have been paid from an escrow account, you may still have money in your account. Or, if the charges have already been paid in advance, you may receive money back from your lender.

Closing Activities
- Closing may involve more than one settlement activity: closing the property transaction, the buyer's loan, and possibly the book on your mortgage.
- Depending on your part of the country, you may attend a closing meeting. An escrow agent may complete the entire transaction. Or, you may be part of group meetings in which you, the buyer, your real estate agents, attorneys, the lender's representatives, and the settlement agent meet together or separately.
- Any issues or questions should be resolved by this time so that both parties can simply review and sign each document.
- You will sign over the deed to the buyer to convey the title to the property. You should also review the final version of the settlement statement to be sure it is in order.

Finally -- it's the moment you've waited for! At the settlement meeting or shortly thereafter, you'll turn over the keys to your house -- and be given a check you can take right to the bank.

Better Homes and Gardens



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