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Leslie's Blog

By Leslie Smith | Agent in Marshfield, MA

Last Minute Details

We're down to the wire for the closing of 7 Starling Avenue in Kingston, Ma. I received the mortgage commitment on behalf of the buyer. This means that there is a short window frame of time in which small items need to be finalized. These items are really important. For example - I made sure that the Title 5 report was provided to the lawyer who will be handling the closing, as well as to the buyer, and the mortgage consultant. The seller needs to contact their oil company for a final reading, to be listed as a credit or  debit to the seller on the HUD sheet/closing document prior to closing. In Massachusetts, the town fire department has to verify that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order, so the fire chef or senior member comes out to all "pre-sale" houses somewhere 30 days before a closing to verify the house is safe for residents. I also had to order the final water reading for the property. This means calling up the local town water department and informing them that a closing/transfer of the property will take place on Monday 7/25/11. This step is always completed after the mortgage commitment is received, however you wouldn't need to do this if the property gets it's water from a well on the property. You would only call up the water department for a final reading if the household gets it's water supply from the town. I informed our office assistant that the property was due to close and therefore as part of her job, she submits a bill to the closing attorney, so that our company gets paid and I get a paycheck! There's the standard, of checking in with the closing attorney to make sure all the parties know where the closing will take place at, and what time. The seller needs to make sure that he/she/they have secured a firm to move their furniture items, or is capable of doing it themselves prior to closing day. Unless there is a legal agreement between the parties that the seller can continue to move their furniture items out after the closing, or if the seller is going to be a lessee/renter and the new buyer becomes the landlord, it is expected that all of the seller's furniture will be removed from the property prior to the closing. Any items that were agreed upon in the Purchase and Sale to stay with the household should remain at this time. For example: in this deal, my parents agreed to leave the washer, dryer, range, refrigerator, and lawn tractor as part of the deal.

The day of, or 24 - 48 hours before the closing is the walk through. This is the opportunity of the buyer to view the property, to make sure that all furniture items are out of the house, except those items that were specifically stated as remaining with the property, and to make sure the house is in the same condition as it was when the buyer got the accepted offer on the house. If there is a discrepancy as to the condition of the home, this is when agents or lawyers are alerted. Sometimes closings are post-phoned due to last minute problems as noticed at the walk through. In rare instances, the seller will let the buyer in for the viewing instead of having the agent conduct the viewing. This is what happened to me and my buyers today. I wasn't able to make the walk through as planned, and my father conducted the walk through. He even took a car ride with the buyers, pointing out local and important buildings like; where the town hall was, where you can catch the different train lines, where local shopping centers are, where private school are located, and what are some short cuts in getting to the house. Judging by the fact that I talked with my buyer over the phone during the walk through, all is well, and the parties can proceed ahead to the closing!

The final steps are informing the yard sign company to remove the "Sold" sign, showing up to the closing, handing off any hard copies of documents to the lawyers (example: oil bill, title 5, fire certificate, etc), and getting the HUD, or settlement statement, providing keys and garage door openers to the new buyers, and providing your company with documents to prove you attended the closing.

FYI - This is also anticipating that the buyer and seller have done their parts by transferring the individual utilities for the property.

Closing on a home is a big deal - to many parties involved! And there are many little details involved in order to have a smooth closing! Hiring an agent who is organized, concerned with details, and stays calm when dealing with last minute problems is very important! Lucky for me and you, those are just a few of my best traits!

P.S. Follow me on FB @ Leslie Smith Real Estate or Twitter @ Slie1063.

Leslie Renee Smith
an agent for Success Real Estate


By Moy Lopez,  Sat Jan 7 2012, 17:44
Just wanted to add one more thing. The buyers are required to come to the closing with a bank check made out to themselves for the balance of the down payment and closing fees. The closing attorneys office will give the buyers this figure a couple of days prior to the closing day.

Recently, I have had buyers who have the majority of their funds in a ING or some out of state bank. Buyers should transfer their funds into their instate bank several days ahead of the closing so that they can have their bank check drawn in time to close. As an alternative, you can ask the out of state bank to wire funds directly to the closing attorneys bank so that the funds can be considered good/collected funds.

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