Sellers Real Estate Closings 101

Sellers Real Estate Closings 101

It’s out with the old and in with the new; you’ve found a buyer for your home, and you are ready to make it official. Selling your house can be an exciting time. However, taking care of all the necessary paperwork and ensuring the appropriate steps are taken can be stressful and time-consuming. Working with an experienced attorney throughout your real estate closing will ensure your interests are protected and guarantee the necessary documents and steps are completed accurately. Attorney Sean Robertson and Gateville Law Firm are skilled in sellers real estate closings and will work with you to meet all your closing needs.

What is a Closing?

Closing is the final step in selling real estate. It occurs when both the buyer and seller have completed all terms laid out in the real estate purchase agreement. Sometimes called a settlement, closing results in the buyer transferring payment to the seller and the seller transferring ownership and possession of the property to the buyer. Sellers real estate closings are often set during negotiations and allow the appropriate period to follow out the necessary steps to make any needed repairs and to allow for time for inspections, appraisal, and survey completion.

To close, you will need to pay off all loans, liens, or judgements that are associated with your property. You will also need to make your home available for any home inspections and appraisals that may be necessary. During this time, you will still be responsible for maintaining the upkeep of your property until the possession has officially been transferred. If any repairs must be completed, you may be able to negotiate with the buyer about who will pay and complete the repairs. Any repairs that fall on you, the seller, must be completed before closing.

Hiring a third party, called an escrowee or Title Company, can help you assure that the documents, money, and other items needed for the closing are handled correctly. The escrowee will pay out the appropriate funds to clear title, to necessary lenders and lienholders, and pay other service providers required during the closing process. Generally, items such as real estate taxes and mortgage payments may be held in escrowee, and the Title Company will be paid a sum of money to pay these items directly. Thus, the key here is that all liens, judgements, taxes, homeowner’s association dues, and other payments must be paid at or prior to closing.

Sellers real estate closings generally take place in the office of the escrowee. Unlike the buyer, you, as the seller, may or may not be needed to attend the closing. You may be able to pre-sign the deed and other documents required to close and name your attorney as your agent for the transaction. Typically, Attorney Sean Robertson of Gateville Law Firm works with seller clients to pre-sign the relevant title documents. He and his staff will also prepare a power of attorney for the property that can represent your interests at closing. However, the important title and closing documents are always signed in advance of the real estate closing.

The proceeds from your sale will be wired directly to your bank or can be put to your new home purchase, given that it occurs shortly after your sale. If you must attend your closing, you will be required to bring:

  • A state-issued photo ID
  • Certified Funds (if required) or transfer funds via a wire transfer depending on the amount of funds needed to close
  • The keys, garage door openers and security codes for the home

The closing will be complete when all old loans and liens have been paid, and all necessary documents have been transferred to the buyer.

What Happens After Closing

After closing is completed, the ownership of your property is transferred to the buyer, meaning you will no longer own it.  You will be required to give the buyer all keys, garage door openers, and other tools that can be used to control home appliances unless there is another agreement set in place.

If you are unable to move out by the closing date and make the required repairs, post-closing agreements may be needed.   A Post-Closing Agreement is when the Seller pays a per-day amount to remain in the premises up to a specified time limit.  Post-Closing Agreements are typically discouraged unless the parties and the facts warrant a Post-Closing agreement.  If there are no post-closing agreements and you fail to move from the property, you can be liable for future lawsuits regarding your breach of contract.

Required Documents

To close, you will need to sign the necessary documents, which include but are not limited to:

  • Master Closing Statement
  • Alta Settlement Statement
  • Affidavit of Title
  • The Deed
  • Loan Payoff Letter
  • Mechanic’s Lien Release
  • Bill of Sale
  • Statement of Closing Costs
  • Statement of Information


Attorney Sean Robertson and Gateville Law Firm can assist you in filing the required paperwork and ensuring the steps throughout this process are completed accurately and thoroughly. Contact Attorney Sean Robertson at 630-780-1034.