Congratulations on getting a contract on your home!  

We are honored that you listed your home with The Matt Difanis Team.  While our work to date has focused on providing top notch marketing of your home, we often have as much (or sometimes more) work to do between the time you get an offer accepted and the day of closing.  Because there will be so much going on with your sale between now and closing, I wanted to provide you with an overview of what to expect, what we will be doing, and which items will require action on your part. 


One of the very first things to do (if you have not already done so) is to select an attorney, and let us know who that is.  Your sales contract requires that you have an attorney to prepare the deed.  A Seller’s attorney also performs numerous other important tasks, including

  • preparing the P-TAX form required for calculation and payment of state mandated revenue stamps for the sale (basically a tax for the privilege of selling real estate that is charged at a rate of $1.50 per thousand dollars in Champaign County);
  • ordering an official payoff statement from your lender, which is necessary to demonstrate to the title company and to the buyer that you are paying off the loan in full at closing, so the buyer knows that he or she is not acquiring the property with your mortgage still encumbering it.  Your attorney will need certain account information from you, such as account number and SSN, to be able to order that official payoff;
  • ordering title work;
  • reviewing title work as it is completed to ensure that there are no unusual exceptions or any conditions that would get in the way of your obligation to convey clear title to the buyer;
  • calculate prorations for real estate taxes and any other expenses for which credits will be owed to or from you at closing; and
  • attend the closing.

We will take care of ordering and coordinating the termite inspection that must be done in connection with your sale.  If you have a preference for which company you want us to use—especially if, for example—you have an ongoing service contract with a particular company that may entitle you to a discounted or free termite inspection report—let me know right away.  Otherwise, we typically order termite inspection reports from Weldon Pest Control and TLC Pest Control.  Both firms are experienced, local, and have competitive pricing if a termite infestation is discovered and treatment is required under the contract.  Both firms typically charge $100 for an official pre-closing HUD approved wood destroying insect report.


We will coordinate scheduling of your closing, which we will do through communication with you, your attorney, the title company (or lender or law firm) that will be hosting the closing, the buyer’s agent, and the buyer’s attorney.  We will make every effort to accommodate your scheduling preference, but as you can see, we will be trying to match up a time with many different schedules.  So always let me know your preferences for the day of closing, but know that I cannot always achieve perfection due to the other schedules with which I must also coordinate.  I commonly pin down the closing time between one and four weeks prior to closing.  A variety of circumstances, including whether the buyer has loan approval, factor into exactly when I can get the closing scheduled.


Be sure that you don’t make a final house payment if that payment date is within a few business days of closing.  Your payoff statement from your lender gets ordered several days (sometimes a couple of weeks) in advance of closing.  As a result, the payoff shown will not assume that any additional payments are credited between the payoff statement issue date and closing.  If you do make a payment, it will either require a scramble to attempt to get an updated payoff statement (which will likely incur an added fee by your lender), or you will end up overpaying at closing, followed by having to wait for up to a month for a refund of the overpayment.


If you escrow for taxes and insurance, most lenders will not credit that escrow account balance to your mortgage payoff.  As a result, you can expect a refund of your escrow account balance within 10 to 30 days following closing.  Because your escrow account would have had extra months to accumulate funds for your next tax and insurance payment if you were not selling, the balance in the escrow account will be less—by four to six month of tax and insurance payments—than the tax credit you will owe the buyer.  The result is that you will be providing a tax credit at the closing, and you will get that partially offset by your escrow refund.


As closing approaches, remember that the contract obligates you to keep utilities continuously running during all buyer inspection periods.  This includes not only any home inspection contingency timeframe, but also during the final walk-through period during the couple of days prior to closing.  If the buyer contacts the utility companies to ask to start service in his or her name, no action is typically needed on your part.  If you want to be certain that utilities come out of your name promptly (such as if the buyer forgets or otherwise fails to make arrangements), then contact your utility companies to ask that service be taken out of your name (which will amount to a shut-off order, if the buyer has not yet called), effective the day after closing.  The reason for the extra day is because if the buyer were to fail to arrange for utilities to transfer to the buyer’s name, and you order utilities out of your name on the day of closing, the utility companies could do a final meter reading and shut off service first thing in the morning, which would create the possibility of the buyer doing a final walk-through immediately thereafter with no utilities, which would put you in default.


This is not intended to be exhaustive.  We may end up doing other tasks behind the scenes in preparation for your closing.  Likewise, if you have questions about anything that I did not cover, please do not hesitate to contact me any time.  Also keep in mind that any specific questions about tasks customarily performed by the seller’s attorney should be directed to your attorney.


Again, thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you. 








Tracy Wilson, Team Manager

The Matt Difanis Team

Matt Difanis, Jeffrey Gibbens & Jayme Ahlden

RE/MAX Realty Associates, Champaign, IL

217-373-4876 – Direct Dial Office Line

801-912-5405 – Direct eFax