1. Avoid many problems by using the correct language.
2. Write Seller's full legal names on contract. The actual Deed with disclose the correct name, but having it spelled correctly on the contract itself helps ensure fewer errors.
3. Urge your clients to select a settlement agent (hopefully, an ATTORNEY) early in the process. Only attorneys can review contracts and offer legal advice. Attorneys can ensure all title issues are resolved prior to closing (including unreleased deeds of trust).
4. Deliver LEGIBLE copy of Fully Ratified Contract and all Amendments to Attorney as soon as possible.
5. If you discuss with the Sellers an estimate of the money they will net, remember to emphasize this is an ESTIMATE. It's hard to account for everything that may happen.
Once Things are Under Way
1. Order Termite, Well and Septic. Order tests within 30 days of settlement. VHA and FHA loans require additional tests (lead, nitrites, nitrates), which may take longer.
2. If there are any inspection issues, relay these tot he attorney, even if they have been resolved.
3. Give copy of Seller's title insurance policy and physical survey to selling agent.
4. Inform Seller not to cancel homeowner's insurance until AFTER closing is completed. (When canceling insurance, back date it to the closing date).
5. Inform Seller to pay any mortgage payments as early in the month of the closing as possible. In this way, the payoff statement will reflect the correct last payment.
Preparing for the Closing Itself
1. Inform Sellers to bring their driver's license to closing (need picture ID).
2. Arrange for delivery of keys and possession.
3. Inform Seller not to expect the net proceeds the same day as the settlement. (If the Seller needs the proceeds ASAP, then inform attorney to make special arrangements.)
4. Have access to repairmen, in case there are issues with the final walk-through. This will be especially important if the Sellers have already moved out of the area.
5. If there are any final walk-through issues, relay these to the attorney, even if they have been resolved.
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