Smart Guide to Closing as a Seller

by Hal Feldman (

It's no secret that moving out of your home will entail a good deal of work. To keep the stress low, always consult with your agent who helps guide people with this process all the time. Also, remember that you don't have to be Superman. Consider the following...

Keep calm and move out. Let your Realtor handle any bumps in the road


  1. Sign closing documents. These days, very few closings occur at a closing table with all parties present. While it is always nice to meet, technology has allowed the Buyer and Seller to sign in advance and have the title company just compile the paperwork, distribute the money and record the deed change, all without leaving their desk.
    With so many things that you need to coordinate, I highly recommend you sign in advance and have peace of mind with one less thing to do.

  2. Allow a walk-through. Don't assume you will be ready a day or two before closing. Try to schedule the walk-through for the morning of the closing date. For a proper walk-through, all of your possessions need to be out and only the items you plan on leaving for the new owners can remain. Also, the term "broom swept" simply means that trash is removed, not that you have to clean the home.

  3. Deliver all keys to the new owner. The easiest way to do this is to provide one set of front door keys to the title company a day in advance and leave all other keys labeled and placed on the kitchen counter top for them to retrieve at their leisure. This includes garage remotes and codes (as applicable).

  4. Turn off utilities. Keep the utilities running through the day after closing, just to be sure.

  5. Be sure to cancel insurances and forward your mail. You can certainly wait a few days after close or get ahead of this early. The choice is yours.


  1. Compile all the papers/documents that you think might be helpful for the new owners and leave them in the house (on kitchen counter top).

  2. Write up any instructions about how you do things in or for the home that would be helpful (how to work lights, change AC filters, etc.).


  1. Write up a list of the contractors and service people you use for the home. Careful, this can potentially backfire if the new owner considers this a recommendation and the contractor does something wrong, you may get an angry call. Use your own discretion.

  2. Leave helpful items and garage things. Garden supplies, yard tools, light bulbs, plant food, cleaning supplies, etc. are all nice to leave if you do not see any use for them in your new place. If you consider it a good "starter item", I am sure the buyer will appreciate it.

  3. Go beyond broom swept. When you close, the home has to be clear of trash and personal items. If you choose, you can go beyond the norm and have the housekeeper do a little cleaning. Remember, it is VERY LIKELY that the new owner will paint and do a deep clean anyway.

Hope this answers your questions. Remember, there are must do items and others that are optional.  If the smaller things slip through the crack because you have more pressing things to do, THAT'S OK!