Home Seller Tips: How to Prepare for Closing

Finally! After all the time listing, showing and preparing your home to be sold, you’ve reached the finish line and are set to close. Thanks to these tips from the Land Title Guarantee Company, you’ll know what to expect when you show up to sign the closing papers.

How To Prepare for the Closing

The most important thing you can do before a closing is to make sure that everything is prepared and ready to go.

Are all necessary papers and documents ready and in the hands of the right parties?

When and how will you be paid?

Are you buying another property? You may want to have both closings at the same office scheduled back-to-back. By doing this, the timing of the disbursement is not a problem. You can assign the funds from the sale to the purchase.

Items to bring to the closing:

  • A government issued ID – a valid driver’s license, a picture ID issued by the state, or a valid passport.
  • If there has been a change in marital status, let your closer know immediately. The party whose name has been changed will be asked to provide a driver’s license reflecting the new name, as well as a marriage license or divorce decree documenting the change. (note: it is helpful to have these items prior to the closing rather than at the closing table so the closer can make sure all documents are prepared correctly.)
  • If there is a Power of Attorney, or if there has been a death in the family, make sure your closer knows this ahead of time. Additional documentation will be required at closing, and often documents must be approved by the title company before the closing.
  • You will need your Social Security number (or Tax Identification Number) to complete the IRS documents at the closing table.
  • Typically, the seller brings the house keys to give the buyer. Other items pertaining to the house can be left at the property for when the buyer moves into the property.

What to expect during the closing?

Make sure to allow at least one to two hours for a closing. The borrower side is the more time consuming part of the process so some agents may advise that you arrive 30 minutes after the scheduled closing time to allow time for the buyer to sign the loan package.

At the beginning of the closing, the closer will make a copy of your valid ID. The closer will review with the seller and the buyer, the settlement sheet and will answer any questions. The buyer and seller will each sign the settlement sheet.

All real estate documents are reviewed for accuracy and are signed. The Warranty Deed will officially transfer the title from the seller to the buyer. The buyer reviews their new lender loan package and signs all appropriate documents.

The closer will distribute the checks to the appropriate parties. All seller proceeds must be made payable to the owner of record. Cashier’s checks are typically issued for seller proceeds. If you would like a wire transfer please contact your bank for instructions to bring to the closing (some banks will charge to receive a wire transfer).

The closing agent will offer you three choices on how you would like to receive your signed closing documents:

  • paperless via email
  • on a CD at the closing table
  • paper copies

After the closing, the closing agent immediately records the Warranty deed, the Deed of Trust and other pertinent documents with the county clerk’s office.

Read more tips and get loads of information from the Land Title Guarantee Company.