Selling Process - Closing the Deal

Selling Process - Closing the Deal

You've found a buyer, but there's still a lot to be done before you can actually close on the house. Read below to learn more.


There are literally hundreds of points that you and your Coldwell Banker Gosslee sales associate can negotiate in a real estate transaction. Work closely with your sales associate to help you negotiate the best transaction possible.

Many offers include financing and home inspection contingencies. Ask your sales associate to explain the language, so that you can make an educated contract decision. The purchase contract must include the seller's responsibilities, with such things as passing clear title, maintaining the property in its present condition until closing and making any agreed-upon repairs to the property.

The two most common contingencies are financing, which makes the purchase conditional on the buyers' ability to obtain a loan and an inspection, which allows the buyers to have professionals inspect the property prior to final offer acceptance.

How flexible should a seller be in granting contingencies?
It depends on the specific offer and many other conditions including the condition of your property, the price you want to get, and how eager you are to sell. Once contingencies are negotiated, they become part of the deal and are written into your contract. Both the buyer and seller can place requirements on the table during the negotiation phase of a real estate transaction. Whether the buyer will find the seller's requirements reasonable, or even achievable depends on the individuals involved. Financial capabilities usually play a major role in negotiations.Furnishings

Deciding what stays and what goes is usually up for negotiation. Dian Hymer, author "Buying and Selling a Home, A Complete Guide," says sellers wanting to take fixed items out of a house should specify so in the Buy/Sell agreement. "Appliances that are not built in (washer, dryer, refrigerator, portable dishwasher, portable microwave, freestanding stove) are all negotiable," Hymer says.

Sellers who are undecided at the time of listing about which appliances will stay with the house can either leave this section blank or state that the appliances are negotiable. Built-in appliances, window coverings, tacked down carpets, and fixtures permanently attached to the property are assumed to be included.

This is a deposit paid by the buyer as evidence of the good faith intention to complete the transaction. The amount of deposit is subject to negotiation and may serve as a source of payment of damages to the seller if the buyer defaults without legal recourse. Until a real estate transaction is closed, the deposit money is retained in a closing.

Contract Preparation

If you're not currently working with a real estate agent, search for a professional who meets your needs or contact us .

The Contract of Sale or Buy/Sell Agreement is a legally binding document whereby the buyer agrees to purchase for a certain price, and the seller agrees to convey the title. The contract also serves as directions to the title company to close the transaction. When your Coldwell Banker Gosslee sales associate prepares your contract, he or she should be clear about the following details:

Who is paying the various expenses of the sale, including closing costs?
Sellers usually pay for a Wood Destroying Insect Report, a portion of the year's taxes and assessment, and the real estate commission. All cost necessary to close are negotiable with the exception of these items.

What is the actual closing date?
The closing date is the date in which the proceeds of sale are available to the seller and the deed has been recorded in the Parish Clerk of Court records. The date of closing can affect your closing costs (make sure to ask your lender for a good faith estimate).

What is the date of occupancy?
This date is agreed to between the buyer and seller during the negotiations. If the seller remains in occupancy after closing, then there should be a rent back agreement in place prior to closing.

Home Warranty

Increase the success of selling your home and decrease the chances that you will have to pay for repairs after you have sold your home with a Coldwell Banker Home Protection. The Coldwell Banker Home Protection Plan, paid out of proceeds at the closing, will cover the cost for repairs or replacement to any mechanical systems or major built-in appliance for 180 days during the listing. Call the Customer Care Center at 1-800-747-5152 or ask your Coldwell Banker Gosslee sales associate for details.

If you're not currently working with a real estate agent, search for a professional who meets your needs or contact us.


A professional inspection should disclose repairs that may be found by a buyer or which should be completed prior to listing your home. The inspection and your Coldwell Banker J. Wesley Dowling sales associate can give you recommendations on what to repair in advance so that there are fewer surprises when the buyer's inspector comes through.


An appraisal is an estimate of a property's value on the open market and is usually prepared by a lender and for a lender's benefit.

Appraisers consider numerous factors such as square footage, construction quality, design, floor plan, amenities and energy efficiency. Other issues taken into account are neighborhood quality and a property's proximity to transportation, shopping and schools. Appraisers also look at lot size, topography, view and landscaping.

If you're not currently working with a real estate agent, search for a professional who meets your needs or contact us.

Title / Closing

The final stage of a closing occurs with the transfer of title from one party to another. The commitment for title insurance is normally ordered by the lender at the contract stage. The Title Company or Closing Attorney is the third party that transfers the money and documents (including title and deed) from the buying and selling parties. The Title Company or Closing Attorney prepares documents, draws up the closing statements, obtains necessary signatures, records documents and receives and disburses funds.

For more information about title services we encourage you to contact Bayou Title, Inc. in Shreveport at (318) 869-6200 or in Bossier City at (318) 963-5200.

After the Closing

Once you've sold your home, make sure to keep your papers in order and know your rights as a homeseller.

Tax Breaks
Of course, one of the best parts about buying a home is the tax break you receive from the government. Contact the Internal Revenue Service directly at 1-800-TAX-FORM and ask for the following free publications, which are designed to assist you in the sale of your home:

  • 521 "Moving Expenses"
  • 523 "Selling Your Home"
  • 527 "Residential Rental Property"
  • 534 "Depreciation"
  • 541 "Tax Information on Partnerships"
  • 551 "Basis of Assets"
  • 555 "Federal Tax Information on Community Property"
  • 561 "Determining the Value of Donated Property"
  • 590 "Individual Retirement Arrangements"
  • 908 "Bankruptcy and Other Debt Cancellation"
  • 936 "Home Mortgage Interest Deduction"

Make a File
File all closing and settlement papers, including warranty deed, HUD-1 settlement statement, title report and your original Buy/Sell agreement. Also be sure to include receipts for any home improvements you made while you owned the house, in the event that you have to pay capital tax gains.

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