Selling a house for the first time can bring lots of unexpected challenges, and depending on the market you’re in, it can take longer than you would like. But closing day is the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the time when you’ll finally be able to consider your home officially sold and the selling process completed. While you may remember paying closing costs as a buyer, there are closing costs for sellers as well. To make sure everything goes smoothly and to help you save as much money as possible, here’s everything you need to know about closing costs for sellers.
What It Means to Close on Your House
It takes a lot to sell a house. First, you have to figure out what your home is worth to price it effectively. Then you have to get it ready to sell, including preparing a seller’s disclosure statement and staging your home to attract the most potential buyers. But perhaps the two biggest milestones in selling a house are when you accept an offer and when you close.
While accepting an offer is certainly cause for celebration, there are many things that still need to happen, and there is always a possibility that the deal can still fall through. The sale only becomes truly official when you close. Closing day typically comes four to six weeks after you accept the offer, but timelines can vary greatly depending on the details of the sale. On closing day, you and all the other parties involved will meet to finalize documents and complete the sale.
What to Bring to Closing
When closing day arrives, you’ll need to bring some of the relevant documents as well as a few other items. Your real estate agent should bring the majority of the documents with them, but you’ll still be responsible for some things. Here’s what you should bring to closing:
- Copy of the purchase agreement
- Cashier’s check and personal checkbook
- Keys to all exterior and interior doors (including garage door openers)
- Photo ID
- Proof of home warranty
- Proof of any home repairs outlined in purchase agreement
- Consult with your agent before closing day and they should provide you with a complete list of everything you’ll need to bring to closing.
Home Closing Checklist for Sellers
As a seller, closing on a house isn’t all about signing documents. There are a number of other steps you’ll have to take to get your home ready for closing. Here are just a few of the tasks you’ll need to complete leading up to closing day:
- Clean your home
- Shut off water supply
- Cancel your utilities
- Cancel your insurance policy
- Lock all doors and windows
- Notify post office of address change
Who Pays Closing Costs?
The simple answer is that both buyers and sellers typically pay closing costs in one form or another. In most real estate transactions, there are certain fees that are the seller’s responsibility, while others typically fall on the buyer. A good example are the fees that each party will pay to their individual lenders. Buyers will typically pay more than sellers, usually around 6% of the total purchase price.
Do Sellers Pay the Buyer’s Closing Costs?
In some instances, yes. As part of the purchase agreement negotiations, buyers and sellers can agree to pay some or all of each other’s closing costs. Some sellers will use closing costs as a negotiation tactic to get a deal to go through. Other times, buyers will insist a seller take on some of their closing costs to make up for needed repairs on the home. As with most things in a home sale, closing costs for sellers and buyers are negotiable. Consult with your real estate agent about how you can come out ahead in these negotiations.
Typical Closing Costs for Sellers
The specific closing costs you’ll be responsible for as a seller will vary depending on the nature of the sale and your negotiations with the buyer. But there are some fees that sellers typically end up paying. Here are some of the most common closing costs for sellers:
- Title search fees
- Title insurance fees
- Appraisal fees
- Home inspection fees
- Property survey fees
- Loan payoff letter fees
The amount you’ll pay for each of these items varies widely depending on your lender, the value of your home and the market you live in. Make sure you understand what these costs are by talking to your real estate agent and your lender. Typically, your real estate agent has a lender they can refer you to but you can also choose your own lender. As you go through the home selling process, keep these costs in mind so you’re not surprised by how much you’ll have to pay to actually get your home sold.
How to Save Money with Homes for Heroes
The best way for sellers to save money on closing costs is to take advantage of the unique offerings provided by Homes for Heroes. We’re dedicated to saving heroes money any way we can, and heroes who use our program to sell a house save an average of $2,400. As you go through the selling process, use our local deals page to save money on everything from home inspections to title fees to professional movers. It’s our way of saying thank you for all that heroes do to serve our community.
As unpleasant as they might be, closing costs for sellers are a necessary evil when it comes to selling a house. But by following best practices, negotiating well and using programs like Homes for Heroes to save money, sellers can come out ahead and make closing day a smooth and successful experience.
Looking for ways to save money on your next home sale? Register with Homes for Heroes today. There’s no obligation and you’ll be automatically matched with a specialist in your area who can help you sell your home quickly and save you money in the process.