How I wish I’d had a home closing checklist for sellers. This became apparent last month when I was running around doing last minute things to get my home ready for the closing. I mean, the easy stuff was done, like get all of my crap out of the house before the closing date.
But there were a bunch of little annoying errands that I forgot you had to do before your close on a home as a seller. For example, you need to reach out of your utility companies and get a final meter reading. In my gas I needed to do this with the gas and electric company as well as the water and sewer authority.
Then there was having to make sure I forwarded the mail to our new address with enough time. Wait until the last minute, and there is a chance the USPS won’t get the forwarding into the system in time.
Of course this doesn’t include the financial and legal aspects of selling your home. There are tons of tasks on that to-do list, too.
Even experienced sellers need a closing checklist
If you’ve read my bio for this blog, then you know my husband and I are experienced sellers. We have bought and sold eight homes in the past two decades. It’s not like selling our latest home was our first time at this rodeo. We should have known what to expect and what needed to get done to get ready for the home closing as sellers.
But alas we didn’t. We forgot a lot of little things that should have been done, and had to panic at the last minute.
Which is why I decided to write this blog post on a home closing checklist for sellers. I’ll eventually write one on a home closing checklist for buyers. Because buyers have a lot of financial things and calls they need to make before closing on a home, too.
Who sellers need to contact before closing
Here is a big reason I put this checklist together. There are a lot of people and companies you, the seller, have to contact before your closing date. This includes all of those aforementioned utility companies.
In some instances you might need to return equipment to providers. For example, before we closed on the sale of our home last month, I had to return the router and modem to our Internet provider. In addition, I had to send back the DVR for our cable service.
Also, you may need to cancel regular services you have in or around your home. This might include lawn maintenance, cleaning or plowing. Do you still get a physical paper delivered to your home? Yep, you’re going to have to cancel that, too.
See what I mean? Your checklist for what you need to do before closing just grows and grows.
Closing checklist for sellers
Without further adieu, I present my own version of a closing checklist for sellers. I’ve included tasks that I needed to do before selling my latest home. I’ve also added tasks that were on my to-do list when selling other homes.
In many instances your real estate agent will provide you with a closing checklist like this. But in case they don’t, you can use mine to start checking things off of your list. These are here in random order, not order of importance, except for the very first item on the list.
Get the mortgage payoff amount from your lender in time for your closing date. Some banks can take up to two weeks to crunch these numbers so do this first before anything else on your sellers’ closing checklist.
Change of address tasks
- Submit change of address to USPS
- Change your address on credit cards
- Alert your bank that you’re moving and change your address
- Contact your alma mater so you can get alumni magazine at new address
- Update magazine and newspaper subscriptions
Checklist for cancelling or updating services
- Arrange final meter reading from water company and end day for service
- Arrange final meter reading from gas company (if applicable) and end day for service
- Provide a last date of service for electric company
- Cancel Internet, cable and phone service; return equipment
- Turn off security system monitoring
- Cancel lawn, plower or other “outdoor” services you pay for regularly
- Update homeowners insurance on sale of house
- Update address in your EZPass or toll transponder account (Note: if you are moving to another state, you will need to update the license plates or tags of your cars once your transfer the registration to the new state)
- Contact auto insurance company to update information
- Log onto or visit motor vehicles department to update drivers license and car registration
- Provide end date for trash and recycling pickup (if you pay separately)
Sellers checklist: preparing for your move
- Arrange for movers, a PODS to be delivered or reserve a rental truck
- HomeAdvisor can help you find a moving service.
- Confirm with buyer’s real estate agent what items they would like left behind or were part of the sale agreement, such as washer and dryer or patio furniture
- If time permits have a garage, tag or yard sale to sell items you don’t want to move
- Arrange for good cause to come by to take any home furnishings you want to donate (get a tax receipt)
Checklist for sellers: what to do the day before closing
- If you had to make repairs after the inspection period, gather receipts to share with buyer
- Gather together any operating or owners manuals you received for appliances etc. in the house and leave for new owners
- Get routing number or wire transfer information for your bank for transfer of funds; alternately, you can take a paper check at closing to deposit at bank
- Double-check all cabinets, closets and built-in drawers for items you may have left behind
- Raise or lower thermostat so as not to run up energy bills for new owner
- Gather up extra keys to your home and remotes for garage door openers to bring to closing
- Vacuum and/or sweep home
- Turn off water inside and outside home to avoid a flooding mishap
- Ensure all doors and windows are locked before you leave home for the last time
- Identify where your photo IDs are, such as drivers license or passport; you’ll need them at closing
Final thoughts on closing checklist for sellers
Have you recently closed on the sale of your home? Did I hit all the items on your to do list? If I’ve missed something, please let me know.