We recently shared the buyer’s journey from contract to closing, including what happens during each step and how the buyer can assist in keeping the process moving. Today, we’re focusing on the seller’s side; similar to the buyer’s journey, it starts with a ratified contract where both parties are in agreement concerning terms.
While the buyer, lender and real estate agent are busy contacting and coordinating inspections to meet any contract contingencies, you, as the seller, can assist by responding when access to the home is needed for inspections. It’s part of the contract for the home to be available (within reason) to the buyer specifically for this reason.
Once Highland Title + Escrow receives a copy of the contract, we send a letter to you asking for some information similar to the following:
- Do you have a mortgage? We’ll need the contact information for the lender to confirm your payoff.
- Do you have a credit line? Again, we’ll ask for contact information for the payoff amount.
- Is there a Homeowner’s or Condominium Association? These associations will be contacted concerning dues.
If your property is part of a Homeowner’s or Condominium Association, you will be responsible for obtaining the resale packet for the buyer. More often than not, your listing agent will help you with this, but it is your task to complete. You’ll want to do this early on; right after the contract is ratified is a great time to start the process. (Once the buyer has the documents, they have a three-day right to cancel the contract.) As the seller, you will want the packet in the buyer’s hands sooner rather than later.
Depending on the contract, you may be responsible for ordering a termite inspection. Now is the time to order it if you are the one named. Again, be timely with this to keep the process moving. Getting all of these things done and returned to us keeps a smooth settlement smooth.
There may be a chance you will be out of town when the closing occurs. As the seller, you may have already moved so returning to finish up the closing may not be ideal. You will need to contact us for a settlement time or for signing of documents. By letting us know ahead of time, you have several options. You could come in a week or two before closing. You don’t need to wait for the settlement date to sign documents. With access to a computer with a camera, you may be able to sign online using an electronic notary. There is also the option to use a Power of Attorney (see our previous blog), but it’s often the case that the other choices will fit your needs.
Ultimately, delivering a clear title is your main responsibility, but Highland Title + Escrow is here to help you. It’s important to let us know if a major life event, such as the death of someone on title or being in the middle of a divorce, affects the ownership of the property. This helps us with the title search process. Also, if you bought owner’s title insurance, find the policy, and get it to us. If there is an issue found during the title search, that policy will probably take care of it, and we will already have it, keeping the process moving rather than taking time to find it.
As we near the settlement date, please contact us to make sure that you have a date and time to come into our office for closing.
What should you bring to closing?
- Government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
- If you would like your proceeds wired into your bank account, please bring wiring instructions from your bank or bring your checkbook. The check has all of the information we need to initiate a wire. (Routing Number, Account Number, Name of the Bank, and Name on the Account)
- If you would like your proceeds wired to a brokerage account, you MUST obtain wire instructions from your brokerage. A check for the account will not work.
For your protection, we will not accept disbursement or wiring instructions over the phone or through email; these need to be delivered in person due to the prevalence of wire fraud. A fraudster can infiltrate your transaction through participating parties, including acting as you communicating with the title company. With some patience and a few clicks, they have all they need to know to act as one of the parties and defer your funds to an account of their own.
Even after signing all of the documents, we are not quite done. In Virginia, we must record the Deed and Deed of Trust at the courthouse prior to disbursing any funds. This process can take as much as 48 hours, not including weekends and holidays. You will be given information about when to expect the funds at closing.
Once everything is signed and the funds are where they need to be, consider it SOLD! You can always call us at (703) 723-3300, or contact us here with any questions or concerns!