That little sign in front of the house that says ‘sold’ in all capitals means the house is no longer available in the market, right? The answer is both yes and no. When the buyer meets all contingencies as per the contract, the house is considered to be sold. This is when the real estate agent starts counting his commissions and the seller is ready to expect the huge amount in a day, week or month. This is also the point where the buyers cannot back out of the deal, because they have paid the down payment and signed the legal contract. They can be brought to court for non-compliance of the contract.
Okay, let us not get into the nitty-gritty details of real estate law here, but there have been many situations where buyers have walked away before the closing date and after signing the contract. The sellers have had to sell the house to someone else but almost in all cases won their suits against walk-away buyers. Their damages were paid, and they were even able to sell the property for more than the original asking price. However, more commonly than not, buyers promptly pay their part of down payment and procure mortgage in a timely manner. Most sales get through without hassles. The buyers have even gone to the length of paying for home inspection and termite elimination because they really wanted that house. So, yes, sold is sold unless something inevitable happens on the buyer’s end.
The closing is the last process in any house sale. It is a little ‘ceremony’ meant for buyers and sellers to enjoy the fruit of their effort. For sellers, it means signing a few papers and collecting their money. In fact, some sellers don’t have to attend this ceremony, especially when the property is located far away from where they live. Most closing ceremonies takes place in the presence of a notary, lawyer, buyer, seller or any of the above combinations. They may be held anywhere – lawyer’s office, club house of any New 55+ communities homes, seller’s house or even public library. There may be two or three people attending it. However, it is preferable to have all the involved parties present during closing. There will always be minor questions coming up during conversation, or there will always be something new to learn for everyone.
Closing ceremony can also be the place and time to discuss further about the property or agree upon things that are not mentioned in the contract, like the seller leaving behind appliances, furniture or personal belonging that the buyer get to keep and so on. They can also discuss about things that the buyer must be aware of about the house, neighborhood or schools. The ceremony can be formal, casual or completely virtual. It doesn’t matter as long as it goes well. Most closings are in fact a dignified but quiet affair that runs for about an hour or so. Most likely, your closing will be like that.