Closing Your Sale
Once the purchase price has been agreed upon and the contracts are signed by both buyer and seller, there are still many hurdles to get through before you get to closing day. At this point I get to exercise my project management skills to facilitate the transaction. The actual involvement is sometimes dictated by weather the transaction is in Central or Southern Jersey and if attorneys are involved.
This part of the process is like traveling down a mutli lane highway doing many things simultaneously. Remember that completing the transaction is like running a marathon. Have lots of patience and being prepared will help to solve unexpected problems.
After signing the contract, the buyer and seller have the option to hire an attorney to review and make changes to the contract. This is the 72 hours of attorney review. The contract, during this period, can be voided for any reason. When attorneys are negotiating, the review period can be extended by mutual consent.
This is a stressful time for the buyer because the seller can still entertain other offers for the purchase of the property.
Once out of attorney review the buyer will complete their mortgage application and schedule a home inspection of the property which could also include a termite, radon, and septic inspection as well as an underground oil tank survey. The seller is responsible for testing the water if there is a well.
A list of home inspection requests is presented to the seller. This could be another opportunity to negotiate the purchase price or even get out of the contract if the seller does not want to make repairs.
A title company will also be selected at this time to provide a current survey and make sure there are no liens, judgements or other encumbrances on the property that would prevent the buyer from receiving a clear title and title insurance at closing.
One to two weeks before closing the buyer will be approved for their mortgage. Prior to closing a document will be presented to both buyer and seller indicating an accounting of all buyers and sellers expenses and disbursements which will include all closing costs.
A few days prior to closing the seller will obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from the respective township.
The seller should take their names off of any utilities and the buyer should create new accounts with the appropriate service providers. Buyer also needs to obtain home owners insurance.
If this hasn’t been negotiated into the contract the buyer might want to consider purchasing a one year home warranty at closing or up to 30 days after closing. There is nothing worse than moving into your home and the hot water tank, heater or air conditioner doesn’t work the first day.
By being proactive with the proper due diligence and follow up, the closing will be an anti climatic, and rewarding experience.