The Closing and Settlement
The papers you received at settlement are extremely valuable, so hold on to them! In the short-term they can help establish tax deductions for the year in which the property was purchased. In the future, such papers will be important for tax purposes when the property is sold, and in some cases, for calculating estate taxes.
Just before the closing:
- Generally, Buyers do a finally walk through the purchased property.
- It is generally understood that sellers will leave homes "broom clean" when moving out. This expression does not mean "vacuumed" or "spotless." Broom clean makes sense because it means the house is ready to be painted and cleaned.
- The amount of charges for the home’s utilities such as water, sewage, gas, electric and oil service should be determined. You want utility bills to be paid in full by sellers as of closing.
- You also want services transferred to your name for billing. Usually such transfers can be done without turning off utilities. Your agent can provide contact numbers and related information.
For most owners a home is the largest single asset they hold, so it makes sense to protect that asset. Many owners make a photo or video record of the home and their possessions for insurance purposes and then keep the records in a safety deposit box. Your insurance provider can recommend what to photograph and how to secure it.