What to Expect at Closing for Sellers
You have accepted an offer on your home, congratulations! Now what?
With an accepted offer, you move toward your closing date. The length of time between closing and your sale is typically stated in the sale offer. A typical closing period is around 2 months after completion of sale.
What is a Closing?
The closing is essentially the ending off of the agreement. It finalizes the transaction. The buyer transfers payment so that the seller can then transfer ownership and possession of the property.
Before the Closing
Having a few months to arrange your affairs between sale completion and closing is ideal. There are a number of things you will have to do as a seller to prepare for the closing. Primarily, if you have an outstanding mortgage, you will have to arrange to pay back the money you owe from the sale of your house. Additionally, you will pay any parties that aided in the sale of the property. Lastly, if you agreed to any repairs before the closing, this time allows for you to have those repairs complete prior to ownership transfer.
There are several other items to consider as a seller, including hiring movers or packing up your belongings. Perhaps hiring a cleaning service to come in or taking some time to thoroughly clean before the new owners move in. If you have an oil furnace, it is to be filled before ownership is transferred (for which you will be reimbursed from the buyer's closing costs). You will also want to fill out a change of address form and notify schools and any other neighbourhood affiliations.
Do You Need to Attend the Closing as a Seller?
No. You will give all of the keys to your home to your realtor or lawyer prior to the closing date, typically at the time you are signing all the final documents of the sale. On the closing date, the buyer and their realtor will walk through the property to ensure everything matches the sale agreement. If all conditions are met, the funds are transferred, keys are distributed and the sale is considered closed.
After the Closing
Once the closing is complete, you no longer own the home and have no right to be in it. You should move out entirely prior to the closing date unless otherwise agreed upon with the buyer. Funds from the sale are sent to your lending organization, releasing you from the mortgage. That is, unless you have purchased another home and are rolling over your existing mortgage into your new one.
As a seller, your closing costs are considerably less than those of a buyer (unless you are buying another property at the same time). A seller's closing costs include their legal fees, realtor fees and a possible migration fee for the title.
If you have any questions about the closing process or costs, please don't hesitate to reach out!