Here are some helpful tips we would like our Sellers to look over before closing.
Funds for Closing – If you’re required to bring money to closing for the sale of your home, here are a few guidelines to consider. If the cash to close is less than $500.00, Benefit Title Services can accept your personal check at closing. If it’s more than $500.00, we ask that you send a wire transfer of the required cash to close. If that’s not possible, you must bring a cashier’s check payable to Benefit Title Services. We cannot accept ACH transfers, personal checks for more than $500.00, cash, or two-party checks.
Liquidity and Availability of Funds – If you are drawing money from a brokerage account, you must have previously sold all stocks or funds and have the cleared cash balance in your account. It sometimes takes longer than expected to get a wire from a brokerage account so please plan accordingly. Most financial institutions require that you visit the branch personally to initiate a wire so call your bank ahead of time!
Identification – Remember to bring your driver’s license to closing – making sure it’s not expired. Please ask your closing professional Benefit Title Services about other forms of identification that may be acceptable if you do not have a driver’s license.
Spouses – If the property you’re selling is your primary residence – and you are married – your spouse will need to sign the deed – period. It does not matter if your spouse is not currently on title with you, OR if you’re separated, OR if you haven’t seen or heard from your spouse in 10 years. Your spouse will need to sign the deed as long as you are still married.
Deadlines – Please be aware of the deadlines you have agreed to under the terms of your contract. They are very important and are there for a reason. Don’t get caught missing an important deadline!
Inspections – The buyer may want to have several inspections of the home completed prior to closing. Some will require that the inspector have access inside the house so please plan those arrangements accordingly.
Survey – There are standard exceptions that appear on a title insurance commitment and the subsequent policy that’s issued. Benefit Title Services can only remove those exceptions when presented with an acceptable survey of the property. If the buyer wants to use your survey for closing, you as the seller will need to sign an affidavit stating that the survey is still accurate, and that nothing has changed that would affect the survey, like building an addition or adding a fence or pool. A condominium property does not require a survey – a townhouse does.
Homeowners and Flood Insurance – After closing, provide your insurance agent with a copy of your signed settlement statement so they can cancel your homeowners and flood insurance. You may be due a prorated refund!
Time to Close – Please allow 45 minutes to one hour to close a mortgage financed purchase transaction. Cash closings usually take between 20 and 30 minutes.
Association Approval – If the property you’re selling has a condominium association or homeowner’s association, please contact the association right away and find out if they have an application process to approve the new buyer. Let us know the name of the property manager so we can order the necessary items we need for closing. Please make your final payment well ahead of closing so we have plenty of time to order the estoppel letter without you being charged a rush fee.
Power of Attorney – Sometimes it’s impossible for the seller to be present at closing to sign the deed and other closing documents. When this happens, they must give power-of-attorney to someone else who can sign for them. If this is the case, let us know well ahead of time so we can prepare a power-of-attorney and assist in getting it properly executed. We’ll need the original, fully executed document for recording purposes.
Funding Approval Prior to Being “Closed” – There are many things that need to be completed before a deal is officially “closed.” Sometimes we have all the signed paperwork, all the money has come in, and it seems like the deal is done – but there is one exception. The Lender has a requirement to review signed documents before they will issue a Funding Number. That means although we have received their wire, we do not have their permission to disburse the loan proceeds yet. If the buyer’s lender has a requirement like this, we should schedule your closing earlier in the day to ensure we receive funding approval from the Lender before they go home for the evening. Please talk to your loan officer about funding requirements. Rest assured, we can’t record the deed until we’re in position to disburse funds to the seller.
Call the Utilities – Place a call to the utility companies (electric, water, telephone, cable, gas, etc.) to ask about transferring service to your new home if you are moving locally. If you’re a prior customers, you may be able to avoid costly deposits.
Reissue Credit – If you have an owner’s policy of title insurance – where you are the named insured – that insures the same property you are selling – and is dated within three years of the date you sell the home, you may be eligible for a discount on the title insurance premium. Please ask your closing professional at Benefit Title Services about the reissue credit discount if you think you qualify.
Mortgage Payoffs – Please send us a copy of your most recent mortgage account statement before you pack your boxes. We’ll need to contact your mortgage lender to obtain a written payoff statement. We may need you to sign an authorization letter to allow us to obtain this letter from your lender.
Bankruptcy – If you have recently filed, or are still a party to an open bankruptcy, please let us know as soon as you can. This can de-rail a closing if we don’t have time to properly handle the issue.
FIRPTA – If you think you may be subject to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax, please consult with your CPA as soon as possible and let us know. We may be able to avoid collecting the 10% tax if you plan ahead!
Divorce – If you are recently divorced or have a divorce pending before we close, please talk to your closing professional at Benefit Title Services. We may need to see your Property Settlement Agreement if it’s not recorded.
Forwarding Address and Social Security Number – Prior to closing, please let us know what your forwarding address will be after closing. We will also need your social security number for 1099 purposes. You can call with this information, unless you have secure email.
Tenants Occupying the Property – Please let us know if the property you are selling is currently leased to a tenant.