Prepare to Close

Once the due diligence period is over, you and your buyer are on your way to closing the deal. Can the buyer still back out of the deal? The answer is ‘yes’. but he will lose his earnest money deposit which then becomes liquidated damages to you, the seller. Generally, the buyer has all his inspections done and his loan approved before the end of due diligence so it less likely he will back out of the deal during this time period.

You should make a “to do” list for turning the property over to the new owners. Here is a checklist to get you started:

  • Gather owner’s manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.
  • Plan how and when you are going to move your belongs off the property to your new home.
  • Don’t neglect maintenance on the property, e.g., cutting the lawn.
  • Make arrangements to clean the house or have it cleaned.
  • Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, water and sewer, cable and other routine services. The services necessary to run the systems and appliances (e.g., electricity and gas) should be maintained in your name through the day of closing. If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account.

The buyers and their agent will do a walk-through of the house either the day of closing or the day before closing. All appliances and systems must be in working order so as to not delay closing.

During the period between the due diligence end date and settlement, the closing attorney will ask you to provide information he will need for settlement. Please, provide all the information to him promptly. The attorney will perform a title search to identify all the liens on the property and prepare the deed for you to sign. The closing attorney will also work with the buyer’s lender to assure that the funds are in place to complete the transaction.