When ever I fix and flip an investment property, I always go by a closing table checklist. By mentally (or physically) checking every thing I need to do before closing and everything I need to bring with me, I can ensure that I’m not going to get there unprepared and potentially lose a really great deal.
So, what’s the Real Estate Elevated-approved closing checklist when you flip a house? Let’s walk through it, item by item.
A Clear Calendar for Everyone Involved
The first thing you’ll need to do is set a date for your closing that works for everyone. Ensure that your realtor (if you’re not acting as your own realtor), broker, and attorney are all free to meet at the closing time. Showing up without one of these people because they were uninformed or double-booked is a good way to lose a sale.
Cash for Closing Costs
Offering to take care of closing costs is really attractive to buyers. With that in mind, I usually plan on covering the closing costs for all of my flips. It eats into the margin a little bit, but it’s worth it to make the sale. So, before you get to the closing table, make sure that you have the funds available to cover those costs and that you have a cashier’s check with you to do so.
Safety Verifications and Certifications
Read up on the laws for what you have to do before you sell a property in your state, but in most states you will at least need an inspection report, a deed to sign over to the buyers, smoke detector and carbon monoxide certifications, and evidence of any requested repairs. Get these in order before you come to the closing table, and you’ll be in good standing with the law to sell your flip and move to the next one.
The Essentials to Hand Over to the Buyer
You already know that you’ll need to hand over the keys once everything is signed and ready to go. You’ll also need to make sure that you have any alarm codes, the remote for the garage door opener, and any pertinent information that the buyer will need to know about the property when they move in.
If you updated the appliances in the kitchen, leave any and all manuals and warranty information in one of the kitchen drawers before you go to closing. If your buyer asks about any of these, you can tell them exactly where to find them.
A Genuine Smile and a Good Handshake
Finally, be sure to bring your genuine, positive personality with you to closing. For whatever reason, real estate closings can be incredibly stressful, especially for first-time homebuyers. A deal can go south at the closing table for all kinds of reasons, from lack of funding or a rejected loan to a buyer getting cold feet and backing out.
If you approach your closings with cool, calm confidence, your buyers will notice and will tend to feel more relaxed about purchasing a home from you. If you look distracted, nervous, or tense, they’re going to notice that, too. If they have any doubts about buying the property, a negative reaction to your demeanor could tip them in the wrong direction. On the other hand, if they have some doubts but they meet an honest, open person with a good handshake and a great smile, they’ll feel more at home.
Always answer all of your buyers’ questions on your fix and flip sales. Be open about the updates you’ve made and stay in good standing with real estate law in your state whenever you flip a house, and you’ll be ready when you get to the closing table. And, of course, if you want to learn more insider information about flipping, check out one of our Real Estate Elevated seminars.