Getting Ready for Settlement – Home Sellers

Mature couple talking to financial plannerSellers, getting ready to settle on the sale of your home can be an exciting time, although at the same time, there may be a tsunami of memories, especially if you are moving out of a long-loved home or a home of many happy memories and milestones.

Regardless of the situation, there is a flurry of activity toward the end of the home sale process and many of the details your agent discussed with you along the way may have completely slipped your mind.

That’s okay – we know how it is and we’re here to help remind you of some of those last minute details:

Notify the local utility companies when you want your service transferred; you will have to give permission for the account to transfer to the Buyers before they can put the accounts in their names. I’d call or go online to make that change a week or so before closing.

Notify your bank to cancel any automatic bank drafts for your mortgage payment; you don’t want to do this too early and some people wait until after closing to do it just to be on the safe side. The mortgage lender will need your forwarding address because in most cases they are going to owe you some money and you will want to be sure you receive it.

What money is that, you ask? Well, any balance you have in your escrow accounts (for insurance and taxes) will be due you, as well as any excess interest you paid at closing that wasn’t needed. Settlement companies hold back a little more money than they may need to pay off your mortgages, just in case there are any last minute changes. Once your lender receives the pay off, then they will balance out your mortgage account and send you a check for any excess. Typically, you will see that check in about 30-45 days, so it’s important the lender send it to the correct accress.

When you review the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, you will notice an adjustment for taxes; if your locality collects taxes in arrears, then when tax time comes, the new Buyers will be paying the entire tax bill, including the taxes on the period of time during which you owned the property. So, the settlement company collects from you the pro-rated tax amount for that period and credits it to the Buyers. If you have been escrowing funds for taxes, then your lender will be sending that money back to you, so you’re not paying taxes twice, although it may feel like that if it has not been carefully explained.

Driver's License Photos, Then and NowFinally, be sure to bring photo identification to closing. Sounds simple enough, but yes, I have had people show up who have forgotten to bring a wallet or purse containing their i.d. Just glad they did not get pulled over by the police for any reason while they were driving without any identification.

As always, if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.

photo by: joelogon

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