4 Things to Remember When Selling Your House
We understand how stressful it might be when you are selling your house. When it comes to the business of closing on a house, it is very crucial to take the right steps at the right time to ensure there are no delays and that the process is smooth and easy. To prevent any delays, it is crucial for sellers to obtain all the paperwork required to close, understand the process and its timeline, and leave a margin to accommodate changes. In the following sections, you will read about the top 4 things that you need to remember when you are closing on your house.
The Documents You Need
If you are thinking about selling your house, the documents that you are going to need to prepare and get ready for closing is the abstract of title. This is sometimes referred to as a title search. Dating back to 1920, it is a voluminous document that should go to anyone who expresses any interest in your property. The title search reflects easements, right of ways and deeds.
The second document you need is the survey that you acquired at the time you purchased the premises. The survey clearly states the boundary lines of the structure situated on the property in order to enable the buyer’s attorney to do a proper examination for the premises. Please note that all the details on these two documents have to be updated to the time that you are closing on a transaction.
In addition to these two crucial documents, we advise sellers to obtain receded tax statements, proof of payment of property taxes (because you are entitled to a reimbursement on those). Proof of payment of water charges are necessary. In some municipalities, you also need to have a back-walk certificate, a side walk certificate, water certificates and sewer certificates. There are also instances where you need to have self-pump certifications. This is particularly in some of our local towns.
In addition to those documents, it is necessary to have health department certifications regarding a well or septic system that is on the property. Those certifications are necessary to transfer the property. If they are not available, then we must hold an escrow at the time of closing to make certain that health department certifications are acquired after closing.
- Two crucial documents you will require are the abstract of title and the survey.
- Apart from these, you may also require receded tax statements, proof of payment of property taxes and water charges. Additionally, you may need certificates for back-walks, side-walks, water, sewer, and septic systems.
How Long It Takes to Close
If you are considering selling your house, you can expect a closing to take place usually within 60 days of the time that you entered a contract of sale. The contract of sale itself has a period by which the purchaser is required to acquire the financing. This is usually between 30 to 45 days after the contract is signed. Most people close within 60 days after the contract has been signed.
Please keep in mind, that the date set in the contract for closing is only a target date for closing. You are advised not to make arrangements for your movers to move you out on that date. Nor should you cancel your home-owner’s insurance or transfer the utilities because there may be delays. Conversely, in some situations, you might end up closing sooner. Therefore, it is important to leave yourself a margin.
- The purchaser is required to acquire financing within 30-45 days of signing the contract.
- People typically close within 60 days of signing the contract.
When You May Turn Off Utilities
The seller of a home should never turn off their utilities until such time that the closing has taken place. The reason being the purchaser of the property has the right to conduct an inspection called a walk through, 2 or 3 days before, or maybe even on the day of closing. During this inspection, they are going to walk through the property to make sure that the rooms are clean and swept, that the basic condition of the property is comparably intact as it had been when the contract was entered into. For the successful completion of this inspection, it is vital that you leave the utilities on.
- The utilities should not be turned off till after closing.
- This is because the buyer typically wants to inspect the property following the inspection.
When You Must Move Out
A very common question asked by sellers is when they are required to move out of the house that they are selling. I direct most sellers to examine their contracts. Typically, standard contracts will clearly state that the buyer is entitled to occupancy at the time of closing. This means that the person you are selling your house to is entitled to moving in at the time of settlement, or upon closing.
If you are going to have any difficulties in vacating the property on the date that is set forth in the contract and close on the transaction, then you need to let your attorney know immediately. Sometimes your attorney will be able to work out a post-occupancy arrangement. This might secure you between a few more days to a couple more weeks before you must vacate the property. This should help you accommodate and resolve whatever issues you might be facing.
- You must vacate the property at the time of settlement, or closing.
- Your attorney might be able to work out a post-occupancy arrangement if you require additional time.