Closings Frequently Delayed – Closing Checklist for Sellers
“As seen in the Real Estate Reality Column in the San Leandro Times & Castro Valley Forum, written by Carl Medford”
Getting a home under contract is one thing – closing on time is something else altogether. Truth is, a significant part of a Realtor’s commission is earned during escrow solving problems threatening to derail or delay transactions.
Due to current rock-bottom interest rates, lenders are clogged with refinance applications. Although lenders insist purchases have priority over refinances, we are seeing significant appraiser delays visiting properties and lenders getting funds to escrow on time. Consequently, delays have become the new reality causing concern, frustration and anger for sellers hoping to close and get to the next phase in their lives.
As the closing draws near, sellers need to be aware of the following:
- Solidify the closing date. Late closing dates add confusion – the better you plan for delays the easier it will be. Confirm that your moving company has flexibility. If you are relocating directly to a subsequent purchase, they need to be kept in the loop to coordinate escrows.
- Confirm rent back (if applicable). Buyers are eager to get into their new home as soon as possible, so solidify when you can vacate.
- Ask about leaving building materials. Fresh paint, flooring and materials leftover from upgrading your home are often welcomed by buyers. Verify before leaving, and DO NOT leave garbage.
- Reroute your mail. Use the post office’s Change of Address kits and do them in advance so everything is in place.
- Change your mailing address on online retailer websites. It can be frustrating if parcels get delivered to your old address.
- Leave a welcome package. This includes keys, remote controls, appliance manuals, instructions on operating house systems and more.
- Thoroughly clean the home. Covad-19 has elevated the level of cleanliness expected by buyers. If cleaning is not your forte, hire a cleaning company to come in after you leave.
- Vacate on time. If the contract states the buyers have possession by 2:00 pm, that means you are out and cleaning finished by 2:00 pm.
- Turn off utilities. Do it AFTER receiving confirmation of recording. If you turn them off early, it can be tricky if you need them back on for a few more days.
- Cancel your homeowner’s insurance. Do not cancel your insurance until you are certain you no longer own the property.
Plan everything carefully and, even if the closing is delayed, you should be good to go.
Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association.