Real Estate Agent Checklists
Creating a Fun, Stress-free Closing for Your Homebuyer
As a real estate agent with a home under contract, you’re probably quite pleased with yourself. You did the legwork to find the home buyer client. You answered their questions and helped them get pre-approved for a mortgage. You also researched and showed the buyers dozens of homes to help them find that perfect one… and then you helped them negotiate the best deal on the home. It feels REALLY good, right?
Even though you may have been bending over backward to please and serve your clients for months – or even years – all of those good feelings and future referrals can fly right out the window if the last phase of their transaction isn’t a smooth one.
We want to make sure that the week before closing on a home and the actual closing day is a BIG success, so here are ten very important steps you need to take to make this day stress-free and hopefully FUN for your home buyers…
10 Steps to Ensure a Successful Closing Experience
#1 :: REPAIRS
Confirm that any home repairs have been completed by the seller and if needed, get a copy of the paid repair receipts on the contractor letterhead
#2 :: UTILITIES
Double check to ensure that the buyer was able to schedule service or transfer the utilities, so there are no issues on move-in day!
** It’s also a good idea to provide them with a list of utility companies and contact information about 10 days prior to closing on the home.
#3 :: HOME WARRANTY ORDER
Confirm with the closing attorney that they received the home warranty order (if it was part of the contract).
#4 :: WALK-THRU BEFORE CLOSING
Do a walk-through of the home a few days before closing to ensure that it is in the same condition and make sure the buyer personally inspects any home repairs were completed by the home seller.
NOTE: If there were any substantial repairs made, we highly recommend asking the home inspector to come back out and confirm that repairs were made as specified in the contract. Usually, they will recheck the home for a minimal fee ($100 to $250, depending on the area and size of home).
#5 :: WIRE INSTRUCTIONS & TRANSFER
Confirm that the buyer has the correct instructions for the wire transfer (if needed) and then contact the closing attorney’s office to confirm that they received the wire.
#6 :: REVIEW SETTLEMENT STATEMENT
Ask the lender or the closing attorney for a copy of the preliminary settlement statement. Review to ensure that everything is correct (i.e. earnest money amount, commissions, home warranty, etc).
#7 :: REMINDER EMAIL
Send your home buyer client a reminder about the closing 24 to 48 hours prior to closing and be sure to include:
- Time of closing
- Address of closing attorney or title office
- Any parking instructions
- What to bring (i.e. driver’s license, etc)
#8 :: CREATE A CLOSING PACKET
Gather all the relevant documents from the transaction and put them in a professional portfolio or folder so that the buyer can use it as a reference in the years to come. A few things we recommend adding to your packet:
- Copy of the completed sales contract
- Settlement Statement
- Instructions on how to file for Homestead Exemption in their city/county
- Brochure from the Home Warranty provider (if applicable)
- List of your favorite vendors (handymen, landscapers, cleaning services, etc)
You can order portfolios or folders from several different vendors that have your name, logo and business card attached. EAZCO offers a wide variety of portfolios and VistaPrint has some affordable folder options.
#9 :: CHECK IN WITH CO-OP AGENT
Follow up with the co-op agent to make sure that they’ve removed the ‘for sale’ signage and lockbox from the home. Also, confirm that they will bring all the home keys and garage door openers to the closing.
10 :: DAY OF CLOSING
Really make it special for your home buyers! Here are just a few ideas to make it fun and stress-free:
- Text or call your client first thing in the morning to say “Happy Closing Day!”
- Bring chilled champagne (or sparkling cider) and glasses for everyone at the closing table
- Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before closing so you’ll be there to greet your clients (and resolve any last minute issues)
- Bring coloring books and crayons if your buyers have to bring their little ones to closing
- Bring a gift for the new homeowners and give them their closing packet
- Take a picture of the home buyers with their keys and/or the sellers handing the new owners the keys (be sure to send them a copy!)
Always (always) follow up with a hand-written thank you note. Depending on your relationship with the new homeowner, you may want to drop by after they move in or take them out for a celebratory lunch or dinner. If they have children, leaving something special in the new home for the kids is always a big hit (i.e. dollhouse, wood letters with their name(s), etc).
Whatever you do, make your home buyers feel special and show them how much you appreciate their business!