Step 10: Walkthrough and Closing

The Walkthrough

Usually the evening before the closing (or perhaps the morning of) the buyers and their agent will come to make sure that everything is as it was when they had their inspection. If they didn’t have an inspection, it’s as it was when they last saw it. Of course, when the buyers were last there, the house may have been full, and now it’s empty. It is broom-clean. You’ve moved out and moved on.

This is a moment of holding your breath. Even thorough preparation is not always enough to align buyer and seller expectations. However, most issues can be addressed on the spot. If they cannot, and if they are substantial, they may require a hold-back of funds by the attorney in escrow to more than cover the expected cost of remedying the situation.

This is rare. We’re pretty good at solving most of these last-minute issues.

The walkthrough shouldn’t be a new inspection, but the buyer may test out appliances and fixtures. If they worked at the time of accepted offer/inspection, they should still work. Moving out should not have caused any major damage. But on the flip-side, if a rug covered a stain on the floor that was there prior to listing the house, there’s no need to worry – that’s on the buyer.

The Closing

Closing is when any of your mortgages or debts on your home are paid off, and the balance of the purchase price goes to you. The deed is recorded at the Registry, to the new owners who are buying your property. You hand over the keys. They get the house.

Buyers often sign in person, as you probably did when you purchased. But as a seller, you may choose instead to sign the bulk of the paperwork ahead of time and to sign a power of attorney so your attorney can sign for you at the closing. Then, you don’t attend the closing, you are just notified when it’s “on record” and the funds are released to you.