Selling your home and moving is a daunting task. You make the decision to sell, hire a real estate agent, prepare the home for showings, have open houses, and review offers. You finally accept an offer, find a new home, and see the end in sight but don’t forget that you still need to close the sale after signing the deal with your real estate agent.
Following these tips will ensure your closing date goes smoothly and you can start to concentrate on the next chapter of your life in your new home.
1. Obtain a land survey or title insurance
A land survey or title insurance is required to close the real estate deal. A land survey determines the boundaries of a piece of land to prevent boundary disputes, ensures that the seller is entitled to sell the land, and that you are getting what you are paying for. It will protect you from future encroachments on your land such as neighbours erecting fences, sheds etc.
When you purchase a home from someone, the seller’s existing land survey will not suffice. You need to get your own done as it will lay out any discrepancies and differences between when the last survey was done and the present time.
To save money, some people choose to buy title insurance instead of a land survey. While title insurance should not be seen as an alternative to or replacement of a survey, it will cover financial losses incurred due to liens, nuisances, and defects of the new property.
2. Obtain house insurance
House insurance is another requirement before closing the sale. Chances are if you sold a home to buy another one, you already have house insurance with a company. If this is the case, you cannot transfer the policy but you can obtain a new one from the same company which could save some time and money.
As soon as your offer for the new home is accepted, call your existing insurance company and give your agent the details of your new home. You will need proof of insurance at closing to show that the home will be insured the day you move in.
3. Confirm final cost of closing
You would hate to show up at your closing appointment without the proper amount of money to cover all costs. Closing costs all depend on the date of the closing appointment because costs are incurred up until this date. Therefore, call the agency handling the closing (usually either the realtor, an attorney, or loan officer) a few days before your closing appointment to get a good idea of what you need.
Generally, closing costs are about 3 to 5 percent of the total loan cost so confirm this amount on the loan documents you received from the lender. Confirm with the agency what methods of payment are accepted. Some will only accept certified cheques as these are funds guaranteed by a bank. Any other form of payment may delay the closing of the sale.
4. Confirm everything you need for your closing appointment
Forgetting to bring something to your closing appointment may delay the transaction. Each buyer needs to bring a government-issued photo identification, a cheque to cover all costs, confirmation of house insurance, and any other outstanding paperwork you have not submitted yet.
It would help to call the agency closing the sale at least a few days before your appointment to determine whether any documents are outstanding. This will give you time to obtain them before attending on the closing date.