For many individuals planning to sell their home, the most stressful part of the process is just listing the property and getting people in to see the home. Once they accept an offer from a buyer, they may feel like the process is almost complete.
However, a lot can go wrong between when you accept that offer and when you actually sign the documents at the closing table. How can you prepare for closing in a way that will increase your chances of a successful transaction?
Clean the house and make any repairs needed
Sometimes, buyers will make an offer that requires specific work on the property. Sellers should take steps to fulfill those obligations as quickly as possible.
You also want to make sure that you maintain the property in a clean condition, especially once you start moving out of the home. Damages caused during that transition could lead to issues with the final walk-through and possibly a canceled closing.
Get all of your paperwork together
From your mortgage payment records to your state identification, there may be many official documents that you will need to get ready for closing or to present at the closing table. If there are any possible title issues, you may need to execute and record deeds to clarify vesting before the closing. Your agent and your attorney can help clarify what paperwork you need to gather as you prepare for closing.
Protect yourself from buyers with cold feet
The best time to protect yourself from a buyer backing out of an offer is when you first negotiate the offer. Challenging or limiting some of their contingencies will give you an opportunity to claim their earnest money if they try to cancel the transaction without an appropriate justification.
Recognize that you cannot always control the outcome
Despite taking every reasonable step to make it to the closing table quickly, things could go wrong that you have no control over, like the buyer being unable to sell their current home. Sometimes, you may just need to accept that relisting the home will be the path of least resistance as opposed to fighting to make the transaction happen.
Taking the right steps when you believe you have found the buyer for your home can increase your chances of successfully closing on the transaction.