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Seller Guide to Closing

Once you accept an offer you should start preparing for close of escrow. This Seller Guide to Closing should help you gather your thoughts.

1. Cancel utilities.

No need to keep paying on your sold home.  You should end your service on the day of closing.   The closing day belongs to the buyer.  Many companies will let you cancel online now, no need to sit on hold.

2. Notify everyone you are moving.

Not just Aunt Sue.  Sure family needs to know but so does your AMEX card or any bills that are mailed to you.  If you do everything on line this is easy as long as your email does not change.

Your life can become really stressful when important bills and documents are not getting to your new address. Make sure you take care of your address change as soon as you’re confident the sale will be going through.

3. Cancel your home owners insurance.

There is no reason to keep paying for insurance that you do not need. Definitely wait until the title has transferred or the deed has been recorded, because until then you may be financially liable for problems.

Get home owners insurance on your new home

4. Clean thoroughly.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you .  Once all your stuff is out of the house, give it a good cleaning. Clean the cabinets and drawers…all nooks and crannies.  Hire someone if it makes life easier.

5. Put all the keys, remotes, etc., in one place.

You can collect all the keys and controllers and put them in a drawer where the buyer will find them.  Include the garage door remote and any fan remotes (labeled)  Also write the mailbox number and location down and label the mailbox key.

6. Collect all the manuals, warranties and receipts for appliances.

You can make it easier on the buyer by gathering all of the manuals, warranties and receipts for the appliances in one location – maybe even a large envelope – so the buyer can easily access them. Once again do unto others….

7. Shut off valves.

If you will be leaving the home empty for a while shut if the water at the main.  No need to tempt fate.

Just make sure you let the buyer know by leaving a note what you have done so they do not think something is wrong with the home.

8. Possibly walk through with the buyer.

Consider doing a walk thru with the buyer to teach them the ropes.  Tell them any quirks, how often you change filters.  Who you use to care for the lawn.

9. Personally look over everything one more time.

Search all the drawers, cupboards, storage spaces and anywhere else you can think of just to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind.

If you are considering leaving behind any personal property make sure you clear it with your real estate agent first.  Most people want left over paint to do touch ups.  But they may not want your left over weed killer.

Also make sure you do not take things that should convey with the home!  The purchase contract lists all included items.  Light fixtures, drapes, fountains are included in the sale.

10. Close everything up.

Go through and shut off all the lights, pull the curtains closed, unplug anything that is plugged in, and lock the windows and the doors.

11. Gather your closing documents.

You probably have all this digitally in your computer.  Make a file ‘House sale 2018’ put all this in that file.  Clean and easy.

The closing statement, seller disclosures (SPDS), insurance claims history, purchase contract, Counter offers addendums  and any documents that are a part of the purchase contract should all be kept. This could be Market Conditions document, HOA document, contingent offer document,

Keep recipients for work done to satisfy the BINSR

Why Should I Disclose That

This is a story that is in the news right now.  It can be viewed as a Halloween horror story or a tale of the importance of disclosure when selling your house.  The seller did not disclose this horrific problem.  When you sell a home you are presented with a form to fill out– the sellers property disclosure statement (often referred to as SPDS). You are legally required to disclose problems with the house.  This is not a wink wink I fooled them issue.  I quote ‘the seller is obligated by law to disclose known material (important) facts about the property to the buyer.”  These buyers went thru a horrible experience and the seller went bankrupt.  DISCLOSE!

A family was driven from their suburban St. Louis home by thousands of venomous spiders that fell from the ceiling and oozed from the walls.  YIKES!

Brian and Susan Trost bought the $450,000 home overlooking two golf holes at Whitmoor Country Club in Weldon Spring in October 2007 and soon afterward started seeing brown recluse spiders everywhere, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported . Once when showering, Susan Trost dodged a spider as it fell from the ceiling and washed down the drain.

She told St. Louis television station KMOV-TV in 2012 the spiders “started bleeding out of the walls,” and at least two pest control companies were unable to eradicate the infestation.

The couple filed a claim in 2008 with their insurance company, State Farm, and a lawsuit against the home’s previous owners for not disclosing the brown recluse problem.

At a civil trial in St. Charles County in October 2011, University of Kansas biology professor Jamel Sandidge — considered one of the nation’s leading brown recluse researchers — estimated there were between 4,500 and 6,000 spiders in the home. Making matters worse, he said, those calculations were made in the winter when the spiders are least active.

The jury awarded the couple slightly more than $472,000, but the former owners declared bankruptcy, the insurance company still didn’t pay anything and the couple moved out two years ago.

The home, now owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association, was covered with nine tarps this week and workers filled it with a gas that permeated the walls to kill the spiders and their eggs.

“There’ll be nothing alive in there after this,” said Tim McCarthy, president of the company hired to fix the problem once and for all.