Not too long ago, I closed on the sale of my home in Utah. It was a harrowing ordeal, not made any easier by the fact that I now live in Pennsylvania. I discovered a few interesting realities of closing on a home. Here are 4 things I wish I had known a little bit sooner:
- The seller usually pays the closing costs
This is something that I sort of knew in the back of my mind, but that didn’t really register with me. If you are selling your home, many buyers expect you to take care of the closing costs, especially if a real estate agent is involved. Some of the costs involved include recording fees, title search fees, notary fees, real estate agent commissions, and other fees that might come up as part of the closing. My closing costs came to $15,000. Even though my home sold for more than I owed, it had still lost enough in value that I had to come up with some of my own money.
- Closings are on short notice
Sure, when you’re under contract there is a potential closing date. But that doesn’t mean it will stay the closing date. My closing date moved around a bit. In the end, it was a couple of days early. However, it’s important to note that your final numbers aren’t given to you until between one and three days prior to the closing. So you have to make sure that any money you need to bring to the table is available at a moment’s notice.
- You will need a notary
For some of the paperwork, you will need a notary. On top of that, this is paperwork in which scanning and emailing won’t work. While the bulk of my closing paperwork could be signed remotely and then emailed to the title company, there were some documents that had to be taken care of in person, and notarized. We then had to overnight the paperwork so that it would arrive in time to close. But at least I didn’t have to get on a plane and fly back to Utah.
- Buyers can back out
It’s not done until it’s done. Our buyers wanted to come back to the house and look over it again, even after we were under contract, and they might have pulled out if they didn’t like what they saw. Depending on the state, a buyer can “take it back” within a certain number of days, as long as the sale hasn’t closed.
Also, don’t forget that, even after the home is under contract, there is still the possibility that the financing will fall through, and the buyers won’t be able to close. An appraisal can also be an issue, since if the home appraises for less than you asked for, you might need to make up the difference if the lender won’t agree.
What surprises did you end up with when you sold your home?