This article was originally published in Real Estate Agent Magazine Twin Cities, written by Charity Malmberg, Founder and President of Trademark Title
With the new rules that took effect Oct. 3, 2015, everyone has been buzzing about the buyer. Has the buyer given their intent to proceed? Do they have their loan on lock-down? Have they done their final walk-through? Does the buyer understand the loan estimate form and closing disclosure? Will there be a three day delay of closing?
With all the hype, it’s been almost too easy to forget the other party involved in the exchange: the seller.
According to the new rules, he seller also has a right to view the documents, including the closing disclosure on or before the time of closing. But even before all of this takes place, much like the buyer, the seller needs to be informed of the changes and you as the professional need to set clear expectations of the new look and feel of the transaction.
Many real estate professionals, like yourself, probably follow a checklist guide to make sure the transaction for the seller goes seamlessly. I’m sure this list includes items such as ordering the truth in housing inspection reports for those cities that require it, ordering well or septic if county requires it and to provide a net sheet to ensure the seller understands the costs associated with selling their home. I would consider these to be a pre-offer checklist for your seller and I would recommend adding an offer checklist as well. On this checklist I would include these items:
- Does the offer qualify as a TRID offer? You may or may not know that not all transactions qualify for TRID. Perhaps the application date was before Oct. 3.
- Does the suggested closing date allow enough time to close with the new rules? NAR is suggesting a 45- day transaction time.
- Call the buyer’s lender and ask a few questions. Will the lender be preparing and delivery the closing disclosure? Will the lender provide updates to me? When does the lender want all the final fees? How will last minute changes be handled?
- Order Resale Disclosure documents as soon as possible. A delay in these fees/forms could delay closing.
- Remind seller to respond to all title company requests within 24-48 hours.
- Submit all invoices, fees, commissions, counteroffer addendums, inspection contingency removals to your title company within 15-20 days prior to closing.
- Contact your title company for a settlement statement 10-14 days prior to closing.
- Be prepared for buyer’s first walk through anywhere from 10-14 days prior to closing.
- Remind seller to disconnect utilities/ cancel auto-pays such as mortgage payments, water or homeowner’s association dues.
- Remind seller not to do any work that could cause a delay in closing.
- Inform/educate seller that if the buyer’s APR fees change by more than 1/8 of a percent, a prepayment penalty gets added to the loan or the loan terms change the closing could be delayed by a minimum of three-four days. Be sure they have a “plan B” for moving trucks, utility disconnections and a place to stay/sleep.
As an informed and professional REALTOR, take the time to equip yourself and your seller for a successful close. These are just a few ideas that should help you keep track of the new rules and fully represent your seller. If you would like a copy of our full pre-offer and offer checklist you are free to email us at Info@TrademarkTitleServices.com to receive your free copy.