Working with Sellers

How to Not Have Your Closing Delayed

Purchase and Sales Agreement (State Dependent)
Just because it’s due on a certain date doesn’t mean it can’t get done sooner! Once the offer is signed get it over to the attorney, so they can start drafting it ASAP even if the home inspection has not been completed. Good communication with your attorneys, agents, and clients is key. Keep the conversation moving and be actively involved. Being involved doesn’t mean you are giving legal advice, but you can facilitate between the attorneys and make sure both sides are staying in contact.
Communicate with the mortgage broker or the buyer’s agent and ask that it be scheduled as soon as possible. Some mortgage companies will schedule it before the Purchase and Sales Agreement is signed if the parties agree on the home inspection outcome. Also, since appraisers are licensed agents, if you and the seller are comfortable with it, let the appraiser go on their own. It will make it easier for the appraiser to schedule you in faster.
Final Readings and Documents for Closing
Scheduling your final readings and documents for closing should start as soon as the Purchase and Sales Agreement is signed. Depending on your city or town it can take 2-3 weeks to schedule certain readings.
  • Smoke Inspection (depending on your state)– Educate your sellers on what is needed and direct them to the town website and encourage them to call the fire department ahead of time to check to make sure they have the proper detectors. Some towns will do a “pre-inspection” and come out to check the detectors free of charge. To help keep things on track try to assist them in scheduling and recommend a handy man that knows the local requirements. Most smoke inspection certificates are good for 30-60 days so certainly try to get this one checked off the list asap just in case you don’t pass the first time.
  • Water/Sewer/Trash/Light Readings – do your research and make sure you know what will be needed for your listing to help guide the seller in the right direction, and be sure to check back with them to make sure the appointments (if needed) have been set up and plan is in place to obtain the final readings prior to the closing date.
  • Final Fuel Readings – This includes oil and propane. Educate your seller on why this is needed and suggest that they contact the company that delivered fuel last to perform a final reading, some fuel companies do not preform final readings so you may need a copy of their last bill and a picture of their gauge.
  • 6D (No lien certificate) (depending on your state) – For condos or homes that have a mandatory HOA a 6D is needed.
    • If it is a larger management company, advise your seller to contact the company as soon as possible and see what their policy is on processing 6Ds. Some take a couple of weeks to process so the sooner the request is made the better.
    • If it is a small owner association with only a couple of units, make sure to speak to your seller and identify who is the correct person to sign the 6D. Ask the attorneys to draw up the 6D right after the Purchase and Sales Agreement so that the seller can get a signature as soon as possible. It is normally harder to obtain these 6Ds as the person who needs to sign it (in front of a notary) are neighbors who may go on vacation or are simply busy.

Work Done to The Home Before Closing

If the seller is required to have work done to the home before closing, try to have the work done as soon as possible. Obtain receipts for the work and if you know that the buyer is picky, suggest for them to check the work before the final walk through.
Lender and Attorney Check Ins
Communication with the mortgage broker and the attorneys is very important for making sure that the deal stays on track. Making sure that documents are being handed in, the appraisal is being completed, and that the mortgage company is working on the file and not waiting on something from someone are a few things that you can do to make sure things are on track. Stay in communication with the attorneys and check if the title has been ordered (if so, is it clear?) and the mortgage payoff has been ordered.
Final Walk Through
Make sure you have set the expectation with the seller ahead of time that there will need to be a walk through typically the night before or the morning of closing. If you are nervous the seller won’t be ready for the walk through, communicate with them and remind them that it was agreed upon in the contract. If things are not a 100% to the buyer’s satisfaction at the time of the walk through, suggest a hold back of some of the seller’s funds to ensure that the closing happens as planned.
Take Away
  • Communication with all parties is key!
  • Try to get things done BEFORE the due dates.
  • Prepare your clients and follow up with them.
  • Send out reminders as dates approach.