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The House Closing Process: What Sellers Need to Know

As just reported by Mainebiz, the house seller’s market in Maine remains crazy-hot, with the median sales price of a home in the Pine Tree State now up a whopping 24.5 percent over June 2020. If you’ve taken advantage of this golden financial opportunity and sold your house, how can you best understand and prepare for the house closing process? Here’s what you need to do!

Make All Necessary Repairs NOW

Nearly all home sellers agree to make specific repairs as part of the house closing process. If you’re one of them, make those repairs NOW — don’t wait until the last second. A good rule of thumb is to complete all repairs at least one week prior to closing. That will allow you plenty of “fudge time” if anything in the repairs is delayed, or if the buyer discovers a problem during the final walkthrough. (More on that below.)

Also, don’t forget to document-document-document your repairs. To prove all requested repairs have been made, save all repair-related receipts and contractor invoices, and take “before and after” photos of all repairs you’ve made.

The Final Walkthrough

A day or two prior to closing, the buyer and his or her agent will do a final walkthrough of the house. (You should not be present for this.) They’ll generally take up to 60 minutes to go through the entire house, especially focusing on whether agreed-upon repairs have been made and making sure no new problems have arisen.

If everything looks fine — which is generally the case — you’ll be immediately notified of that. On the other hand, if any problems come to light, you’ll be told you need to make the additional repair or asked to pay the buyer a certain sum of money so he or she can make the repair.

 The Official Closing Meeting

You’ll be happy to hear that most closing meetings go smoothly. The closing generally boils down to you signing documents (which will be clearly explained to you prior to signing), then watching the buyer sign.

While doing this, pay careful attention to the Settlement Statement. This document will state the money you are earning on the house sale, plus taxes. Be sure these numbers match what you were expecting, and don’t sign the document if they don’t. If you have questions and/or perceive any discrepancies, immediately inform your real estate agent or attorney.

Once all documents have been signed, the buyer’s funds will be transferred to your attorney. He or she will then handle the payments to cover your loan and pay your real estate team. (Luckily, you don’t have to worry about any of this!)

Then sit back and enjoy the best part: Getting a check — usually the same day — for the rest of the money!

Looking to sell or buy a wonderful home in Maine? We’d love to assist you and invite you to contact us today.

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