Your Home Closing Checklist

You’ve done it! You’ve gotten over the massive hill that is the home sale process, negotiated all the ins and outs of the contract, and are headed toward closing day. But don’t get overzealous and think you’re all done. There are a few more steps sellers must take before signing on the dotted line.

Because there are so many variables that depend on the specific home sale, for the purposes of this piece, let’s say that inspections and post-inspection repairs are negotiated and finalized.

Here’s where you should do to prepare for closing day.

1) Prep the house

  • You’re turning over the home to new owners, and they’ll expect all the details to be taken care of to perfection.
  • Give the house one final deep clean, and don’t forget to check drawers, closets, attics, garages and basements for any leftover items
  • Be sure all shut-off valves that could damage the home are turned off.
  • Gather items that buyers will need, such as keys, garage door openers and codes, and any pertinent paperwork, such as warranties and receipts, into one easy-to-find place for the new homeowners.
  • Change your address, and forward your mail.
  • Alert subscriptions services and service providers of your change of address.

2) Get your documents together

As you’re prepping your home and gathering your things, your agent and the buyer’s agent will be making sure the financing is squared away, removing inspection contingencies and otherwise making sure the paper trail is taken care of.

Here’s what you should be doing:

  • Check the HUD 1 Settlement. The day before you sit down to sign the papers, you’ll receive a HUD 1 document that will outline the specific details of the home sale. Be sure to look it over closely and report any mistakes to your agent immediately.

Your agent will take care of and bring the following to closing:

  • Mortgage info and loan payoff info
  • Escrow info
  • HUD 1 Settlement Agreement
  • Inspection agreements
  • Termite inspections
  • Property tax info

Depending on your situation, you might take home a check for the closing balance if you net a profit after the loan and agent commissions are taken care of, or you might need to bring a cashier’s check for the closing amount if not.

Possible seller expenses include your remaining mortgage balance; agent commission; property taxes, utility bills, HOA dues, homeowner’s insurance and other home-related bills; title fees; and escrow/attorney fees.

Be sure to keep your homeowner’s insurance and utilities in effect until after the closing is completed.

3) Gather your things to bring to the closing table

As you sit down to sign all the final paperwork (pace yourself, and allow for hand-cramp breaks), you’ll need:

  • A photo ID for all sellers on the home contract
  • Closing statement questions
  • A pen
  • The home deed
  • Keys and codes
  • Documentation for repairs made post-home inspection

4) Make a post-close to-do list

There are just a few steps left, promise! Now that the home is officially in possession of the new owners, be sure to do these four things:

  • Transfer utilities out of your name and into the new owners’
  • Cancel your homeowner’s insurance once the title has transferred
  • File your closing paperwork away in a safe place
  • Pop a bottle, do an end zone dance or whatever you do to take a moment and celebrate

5) Congratulations! You’re done!

You have completed your checklist for closing on a home. Now make sure you have the best movers!