10 Things Your Lawyer Wants You to Remember When You Sell Property
1. If you have private sewage find your Title V Certificate.
You need to provide the original Title V Certificate of private sewage disposal systems to the buyer at your closing. In fact, some lenders and/or attorneys will ask for it before the closing.
2. You may qualify for a home insurance refund.
You need to maintain home insurance as specified in the Purchase and Sales Agreement (typically 80% of the selling price). After the closing, call your insurance company, cancel your policy, and check with them to see if you are entitled to a refund.
3. Get certified for smoke and carbon monoxide compliance.
The regulations for this changed April 1, 2010, so before you have your local fire department come, make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street, and your smoke and CO detectors are installed in the correct locations and working properly.
4. If you have oil in your tank, it’s worth money.
At your closing, the buyer will reimburse you for any oil that is left in your tank. Be sure to ask your oil company to give you a statement for the amount that’s left in the tank at least one week prior to the closing.
5. Request your final water and/or sewer readings.
Timing is important here. The readings need to be done at least one week prior to closing and then emailed/faxed directly to your attorney. It is best to request the final water and/or sewer readings about 1 ½ weeks prior to closing.
6. Prepare a new deed.
It is your responsibility to have a new deed prepared when you sell a property. Your attorney will be able to do this for a minimal fee.
7. You want to minimize interest payments.
The closing attorney will pay your first and second mortgages and any home equity line of credit, which are liens on your property. They will overnight mail the payment to avoid additional interest on the loan. The overnight mail charges will appear on your settlement statement at closing.
8. Prepare for the buyer’s “walk-through”.
About 24 hours before the closing, the buyer will do a walk-through of your home. The main purpose of the walk-through is to make sure you have moved all your possessions out beforethe closing. This includes pets and trash–including paint cans! Don’t assume the buyer will want anything left for them. Nothing is to remain inside or outside your property unless it is clearly stated in the Purchase & Sale Agreement. If someone has to be hired to remove anything from the property, it will be at the seller’s expense. Once you transfer the property, you no longer own it, and should not expect to return.
9. Yes, there are taxes and fees to pay
The seller is required to pay the government tax stamps which are currently $4.56 per $1000 of the sale price. Additionally, your mortgage discharge will be charged to you and typically costs $75. Both of these items will be reflected on your settlement statement, deducted from your proceeds at closing, and paid by the closing attorney.
10. Bring these things with you to the closing.
Make sure to bring to the closing a state-issued photo ID (driver’s license is best), your checkbook, extra keys and your garage door openers.
Remember to do these 10 things and you’ll be that much closer to a smooth property sale.