Settlement is where all the details come together and you actually sell your home and the purchaser buys your home. In the state of Virginia when you drive to settlement you own your house. After settlement the buyer owns it.
Typically both parties are together along with their agents at settlement. The settlement is conducted by the settlement agent, often an attorney. At a title company, where most settlements happen, the settlement agent represents the contract rather than either the buyer or seller. He fulfills the terms of the agreement.
For you, as a seller, there are only a few documents to sign. In fact, often our sellers are out of town, or the country. The title company can get the documents to you prior to the settlement so your attendance is not mandatory.
We often do what’s called a “limited power of attorney” for our clients if that is something they desire. That way, if there is a leaking faucet or something amiss at the final walk-thru, we can sign any agreed-to remedy for them. We just ask them to be by a phone so we can get their approval for any minor change.
The settlement usually starts off with the settlement agent asking if everything was ok with the walk-thru. If all was well we move on. If there were issues, we resolve them.
Then the settlement agent goes over both sides of the TRID settlement statement, which is a federally mandated form that is 2-sided with columns of credits and debits for each party. If everyone agrees with the numbers and has no questions, then we’re on our way.
There are some common papers to be signed by both parties (deed, termite certificate, etc.), but since the seller has no loan documents, they usually finish up early and after exchanging keys, congratulations and best wishes, are free to go.
The seller’s money is usually wired to them the afternoon of the next business day after settlement. In Virginia, the title needs to be recorded before the funds can be disbursed. So, if we settle on a Tuesday, look for the money to hit your account on Wednesday afternoon.
If you are doing what’s called “coinciding settlements”, you can settle on your house and also on the home you are purchasing in the same day. This is actually quite common, but much easier if the same title company is handling both transactions.
During settlement, your agent is there to offer support, any necessary explanations, and to help out if anything out of the ordinary happens. At settlement, people are often frayed from all the last minute details involved in getting ready for the move and so if there are challenges, sometimes emotions can run high. It is sure nice to have an experienced hand there to settle things down and make sure your interests are well looked after.