Today you may be a seller, but do you remember what it felt like the day you took possession of your home?
For many buyers, they started fantasizing about this moment seconds after their offer was accepted. They would romanticize just how perfect and amazing the house would look and feel on closing for weeks.
Yet, for many buyers, this was not the case. They were actually left feeling disappointed, disheartened and angered by what their new home looked like on closing. Picture holes in the walls, discarded furniture littered throughout and a kitchen sink that definitely hadn’t seen a scrubbing bubble in weeks.
The seller had left their new home looking more like an Instagram photo from @itsabandoned than the home they had dreamed about for weeks.
That is HOW NOT to close your sale.
So, how can you make sure you close your sale right? EASY….follow the Kormendy Trott Team Secrets to Closing like a PRO.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR CLOSING LIKE A PRO
To make sure your latest closing doesn’t end up an Abandoned Hashtag follow these secrets, tips and tricks to close like a pro.
1. Before Accepting the Offer: Search for the Closing Conditions
First and foremost, before you sign make sure you are aware of what closing obligations you are agreeing to.
Sometimes the closing conditions and clauses are hidden like Waldo from Where’s Waldo.
Clauses and Conditions to be aware of before signing:
- Completion – What has the buyer asked you to complete before you leave? (i.e. open pool, patch picture holes, replace appliances, paint, repair baseboards or flooring). Make a list of everything you are expected to complete.
- Repair Expectations and Proof – You may be a handyperson but there may be a condition that a qualified expert is required and proof needs to be supplied on closing day. (i.e. electrician must do all electrical repairs)
- Leave Behind – Read for any instructions on what needs to be left on the property (i.e. appliances, window treatments, mirrors, lights, etc.)
NOTE: Do not assume the new buyer wants things left behind. Ask the buyer ahead of time if you can leave
- Paint – cans with existing room paint colours
- Building Supplies – left over tiles, flooring, roof tiles, etc.
- Outdoor Supplies – Wood for fire, gardening supplies, winter salt, etc.
- Furniture – Check if the new buyer has requested a specific piece of
furniture (i.e. storage unit in garage, shelving, etc.). Just because it worked perfectly for you in the home, please don’t assume your new buyer wants it.
2. After Accepting the Offer: Create the Pro Closing Checklist
After you’ve celebrated the sale it’s time to create your Closing PRO Checklist
Most sales are anywhere from 30 -90 days to closing, which makes it easy to complete everything if you GET ORGANIZED.
To make sure you don’t leave everything to the last minute and/or get stressed with one long To-Do List, we suggest you create sections with weekly scheduled dates to complete.
Pro Closing Checklist Sections:
- Closing Conditions and Clauses – Create a list from your offer with everything that needs to be completed. Make sure to schedule all repairs as soon as possible to give plenty of time to complete
- Utilities – Make a list of all your utility/rental companies for the property. Schedule a few hours to call or email to cancel utilities/rental payments on the closing date. You can also forward any accounts to your new possession new property if applicable.
- Property Tax – Call the city and pay any tax arrears and let them know of the closing date.
- Mail Forward – Once you know where you are moving, call the post office or go online to set up mail forwarding after your closing date. We suggest mail forwarding for one year. This way, you won’t miss out on birthday cards, forgotten subscriptions or anything else you may have missed.
- Regular Maintenance – With all the chaos of moving, you may start neglecting regular maintenance (i.e. mowing the lawn, shovelling snow, gardening). As a seller, it is your responsibility to leave the home maintained. Be sure to schedule yourself to continue the regular maintenance or hire a handyperson for the last couple of weeks.
- Cleaning – When a new buyer takes possession of your home, they are going to want to start from a clean slate. Meaning, they don’t want evidence you ever lived there (i.e. hair in the shower drain or leftover food in the fridge). If you plan to clean yourself, make sure you give yourself several scheduled days to thoroughly clean. If you don’t have time, we suggest having a professional cleaning company clean for you…it’s worth it!
- Lawyer – 1-2 weeks before closing, schedule an appointment with your lawyer to discuss the statement of adjustments or ask any questions about closing.
- Keys – Arrange with your realtor to leave the lockbox for closing day. Collect all the property keys, and once the closing is official, you can say goodbye and leave the key in the lockbox. Your lawyer will provide the code to the buyers on closing.
NOTE: For added security, you may want to change the code for closing and only provide it to the lawyer.
Congratulations on your sale, and have fun closing like a PRO!
For more great tips like this check out KT CONFIDENTIAL The Real Estate Podcast