Portland Home Sellers: Closing Checklist

portland home sellers closing

We expect to see a lot of closings happen in Portland real estate market this summer, after 4,665 homes were listed in May 2018. According to the May RMLS report, “This was the strongest May for new listings since 2008, when 5,182 were offered in the month.” With the average number of days on market down to 37 (compared to the year-to date average of 51), we can expect to see closings on many of those May-listed homes by September. (Overall the increase in inventory and the slight decrease in available buyers still means the Portland real estate market is cooling, but we are in the midst of a normal seasonal summer high.)

For sellers, the 30-45 days timeframe from accepting an offer on their home until closing at escrow is crucial. Here’s how to make that final closing as smooth as possible.

Seller Closing Checklist:

  1. Get any negotiated repair work done long before the closing date. If your real estate agent hasn’t already warned you, it can be tough finding contractors like plumbers and electricians, or even just a handyperson to work on homes in Portland. We’re in a labor shortage and wait times can often be weeks long. If your contract with the buyers says that you’ll complete certain repairs before closing, schedule them as soon as possible.
  2. Reconsider what you leave behind. Generally, all permanently installed fixtures of the home stay with the home, and you can negotiate with
    the buyers if they want things like the washer and dryer. A lot of sellers, however, assume that buyers want things they likely should get rid of: patio furniture, old pots, old doors or windows from a long-ago remodel. The buyer seeing these items during the final walk-through probably won’t derail the home sale, but as a courtesy to the home’s new owners, dispose of them unless they have specifically asked for them to be conveyed. If in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to ask, talk with the buyers first.
  3. Wait until after the closing to transfer utilities and cancel insurance. Even if you’re already moved out of the home, don’t cancel the utilities. Once the title is transferred to the new owner, the utilities can be switched over to their name without an interruption in service (this is how things are normally done unless you and your buyer have worked out a different arrangement). Homeowners insurance is ok to completely cancel, but only once the sale is formally recorded. It is unsafe and unwise to leave a home sitting uninsured.
  4. Retain the closing documents. You’ll be handed (emailed) a completed package of paperwork including the closing statement, the purchase contract, and more at the final closing. Save these documents. Real estate experts recommend keeping them at least ten years. You will need it if you ever plan to refinance, you might need it for your tax return, and more.

Ready to get your Portland home listed and get top value for it this summer? Contact our Top 1% Portland Seller’s Agent today!

June 22, 2018

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.