With real estate transactions, we often think from the perspective of the homes’ new owner, but for every buyer, there must be a seller. That’s why we’re devoting this post to all the home sellers out there who need to know what they’re responsible for in the buildup to closing day.
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Buying & Selling Process Infographic
Though there are exceptions, sellers commonly pay for the real estate commissions and title insurance.
It is common for the seller to pay real estate commissions to agents on both sides of the transaction. Usually, this is a percentage of the home’s selling price to each agent — however, if there is only one agent representing both buyer and seller, he or she will likely expect to get the full commission as they are representing both parties.
Title insurance is another cost the seller should expect to pay. Prior to sale, a title search is conducted to verify ownership and to determine if there are any liens to be paid at closing to guarantee a clear title to the new buyer. The title policy protects the lender against any unexpected ownership claims.
In addition to those costs, the seller also pays for any required repairs and any outstanding liens against the property.
A home seller should be prepared to pay an additional 6% to 10% of the sale price of the home in fees and additional costs before closing.
So, you’ve paid those costs, but your responsibilities don’t end there. On closing day, you’ll need to bring a collection of documents, these include:
- State-issued photo ID
- Keys and security codes (assuming possession of the house is being granted at closing)
You will want to make sure all the credits and debits are exactly correct–this is because the escrow company pays off any existing liens on the property, the balance of the mortgage, and any other property taxes owed until the date of closing. Escrow will also distribute the real estate commissions and any other fees you owe as the seller.
You will also be asked to sign a series of documents. These include the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure, which is a government form designed to help itemize all fees involved: the deed, which is used to transfer the title and any other documents required for the transfer. Additionally, you will need to sign the loan payoff statement which shows what your loan payoff will be at closing; mechanic liens affidavit, a document which swears there are no liens be against the property by a subtractor and the statement of closing costs, which verifies that you were informed about the various fees and costs.
Obviously, there are a lot of documents you need to sign, so it would be wise to ask the closing officer to give you a copy of the documents you will need to sign a few days before the closing meeting so you have time to review and correct these documents.
Need any more help? Metropolitan Title Company is committed to delighting customers throughout the real estate transaction process and we look forward to working with you.