Closing Day: The highly anticipated, most exciting day of a real estate transaction. After all of the preparation over the weeks and months of a transaction, both buyers and sellers can breathe a sigh of relief when the closing comes around.
What to expect:
Prior to closing, the buyers and their agent will do a final walk-through of the home to make sure everything is in order. This typically takes place the day before or morning of the closing.
Keep in mind that the closing date set forth in your Purchase and Sale Contract is a goal that all parties strive to meet. Unfortunately, sometimes circumstances arise which delay the closing. Generally these involve loan processing issues and can be due to anything from missing documents to an influx of other contracts slowing down the lender's queue. While this can be frustrating and is certainly not ideal, it is a fairly common occurrence which any experienced Realtor has worked through many times. Remember that all parties are working toward the common goal of closing on time, so if roadblocks pop up, the necessary steps will be taken to resolve those issues and press on. Delays can cause scheduling problems but very rarely result in the termination of a contract.
In Vermont, real estate transactions close 'at the table,' meaning the buyer and seller come together with their agents and attorneys to sign their respective documents. The closing generally takes place in a conference room at the buyer's attorney's office.
All of the title work is done prior to closing. The buyer's attorney will determine rightful ownership of the property and find out if there are any liens or open permits to be resolved before closing. The seller's agent will have the final water bill drawn up and sent to the buyer's attorney for pro-ration--it is the seller's responsibility to pay their final water usage. If oil is used for heat, the buyer's attorney will need to know the amount left in the tank and the price paid for it--it is the buyer's responsibility to re-reimburse the seller for the leftover oil as they cannot take it with them.
What do those stacks of documents consist of, you ask? The buyer's paperwork mostly deals with their mortgage-that they are aware of the amount of the monthly payments they will be making and that they agree to pay them in a timely fashion. The seller has a much smaller pile of documents before them--they have to report to the IRS how much they are receiving for the home and will need to sign over the deed to the buyer. If a buyer or seller cannot be at the closing, they can appoint another representative, known as a Power of Attorney, to sign their paperwork for them.
Typically closings take about an hour during which time the buyers and sellers will complete their paperwork, hand over house keys and checks and go over any pertinent information.