ReSET Blog
Blog · June 08, 2022 · AUTHOR: Udi Dorner

The Seller's Closing Documents - A Complete Guide

The seller's Closing documents are the final documents that need to be signed before the deal goes through. They are usually signed at the closing table and are used to transfer ownership of the property.

The standard throughout the closing process has been to stay in touch with the agent who closes the deal to make sure everything is proceeding smoothly. The paperwork that the seller will need to sign is minimal compared to the large amounts of paperwork that will need to be signed by the buyer at the time of closing. However, there are many different variables based on the state where you live.

In some states, you will be required to pay transfer taxes when you sell your home. These taxes can range anywhere from $0-$5,000, depending on the value of your home and location. Some states also require that you pay property taxes on any outstanding mortgage balance after escrow closes.

You will also need to arrange for a real estate attorney or title company representative (depending on where you live) to be present at closing so they can witness signatures and sign off on all documents needed for escrow closure.

Main types of seller's closing documents:

When you sell your home, you will need to provide the buyer with some documents that transfer ownership of the property from you to them. These are called closing documents. The two main types of seller's closing documents:

The bill of sale:

The bill of sale is a document that transfers property ownership from the seller to the buyer. Both parties usually sign it, but some states require it to be notarized or witnessed. It should include all of the terms agreed upon by both parties, including the price, terms and conditions, and closing date.

The assignment of the contract:

Contract assignment is also called an "assignment of lease" or "transfer of leasehold interest." It assigns ownership rights to someone else (usually a lender) in a real estate contract. This document must be signed by all parties involved in the deal (buyer, seller, and lender).

The role of the closing documents

The seller's closing documents are the documents that the buyer requires before signing an agreement to purchase a home. The closing documents are essential in the home buying process, but they do not always receive the attention they deserve.

These documents include the seller's closing disclosure, HUD-1 settlement statement, truth in lending statement, and good faith estimate. These are essential pieces of paper that ensure that both parties know what they are getting into before buying or selling a home.

The closing disclosure:

This document is used for all purchases and sales of residential real estate. It contains information about the property you are purchasing, including information about its condition and any defects that may exist. The closing disclosure must be given to you at least three days before you sign an offer to purchase a home. You can review this document in detail to ensure that you are aware of any issues with the property before committing to buying it.

The HUD-1 settlement statement:

This document lists the final selling price and other expenses related to selling your homes, such as commissions owed on real estate sales (6 percent) and transfer taxes (1 percent). The HUD-1 also shows how much cash you will receive from selling your home. And how much each party owes in taxes on their share of the sale proceeds.

The truth in a lending statement (TIL):

The Truth in Lending Statement (TIL) is required by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and contains information about the loan amount, interest rate, and other fees charged to the buyer. It includes a breakdown of how much the buyer will receive at closing and when those funds will be disbursed.

Good Faith Estimate (GFE):

The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is required by federal law and estimates your closing costs. This document helps you understand what fees are associated with buying a home to know what funds you'll need to bring to a close.

Tips for a smooth closing process

Closing on your home is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a smooth closing process:

  • Make sure your loan is approved and funded ahead of time. The lender will need to know the date of closing before sending out the HUD-1 settlement statement so they can include all estimated closing costs at that time. If you're buying a home and haven't been pre-approved yet, now's the time to start working with a lender or mortgage broker.

  • Ensure all documents are signed and returned to your broker before closing day. Your broker will then forward all signed documents to the title company or attorney handling your transaction so they can complete their part of the process.

  • If you're selling your home, make sure you have an updated list of belongings included in the sale (furniture, appliances, etc.). It will help give buyers peace of mind knowing what they're getting into when moving into their new home!

  • Don't forget about insurance! If you rent out your property as an Airbnb or VRBO/HomeAway rental, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for any damages caused by guests.

  • Be ready to provide proof of income and credit history at closing. If your credit score is 750 or above, you may not need to verify this information at close (depending on your lender). But if it falls below that number, be prepared with pay stubs and bank statements showing proof of income.

What to do if something goes wrong during the closing process

If the seller refuses to sign the Deed, there are several options for resolving the issue.

Try to negotiate with the seller.

The most common reason sellers refuse to sign is that they want more money. If you can offer a larger down payment or reduce closing costs, this may be enough to persuade your seller to sign on the dotted line.

Offer an escrow account to protect your deposit.

If you don't have a sizable down payment and can't reduce closing costs, consider using an escrow account as security for your deposit instead. It is where your lender will hold onto some of your money until certain conditions are met. For example, if there's any damage at closing, the funds in escrow will be used to cover repairs before any additional funds are released from escrow.

Change lenders and get another loan commitment letter.

Before you make any changes, I would recommend talking with a real estate attorney first. They'll know if there's a way out of this problem without going through all of these hoops!

Which documents must be submitted before completing the seller's closing documents?

The following are some of the most common documents that a seller must submit:

  • Seller's Authorization – This document authorizes a third party, such as an attorney, to act on behalf of the seller during the closing process. The authorization must be signed by both parties (seller and buyer) before closing.

  • Seller's Property Disclosure Statement – This form informs buyers about any known defects in your home before they buy it. It also includes environmental hazards, such as lead paint or asbestos in your home.

  • Seller's Inspection Report – This form outlines any existing damage or defects discovered during the inspection process so that buyers can make informed decisions about their purchase.

  • Seller's Deed – This document transfers ownership of your property from yourself to another party (buyer). Both parties should sign it before closing so that no problems arise at settlement.

Examples of documents that need to sign at closing

  • These are a few examples of documents you need to sign at closing.  

  • Final Closing Instructions The practice of this varies across the country. However, they will do so during escrow if a buyer and the seller do not sign the agreements to the closing instructions.

  • The HUD-1 Settlement Statement This accounts for all the money involved in this process. It is a statement that is REQUIRED by federal law. There is both a buyer's column and a seller's column on this document. Ensure that you verify all columns and ensure that all of the figures on the HUD-1 form are correct before signing!

  • Certificate of Title This is a statement saying that you have the right to sell the property.

  • The Deed This will transfer the title to the new owner. Deeds have different names in different states, but they all mean the same thing. The homeownership will transfer after the new name(s) are signed on the document. It also includes a description of the property in question. It happens at the courthouse in your local county.

  • Loan payoff This shows the amount of profit you owe at closing.

  • Mechanics lien In some states, you may be asked to sign a document that says there is no possibility of any payment placed by a subcontractor.

  • Bill of sale This gives a list of any personal property you agreed to leave with the house. Ensure that everything you decide to go with the house is on the list.

  • Statement of closing costs When you sign this document, you know ahead of time all the costs involved.

  • Statement of Information Title companies have to know who they are. When you go to the title company, you will likely need to show two forms of identification, such as your driver's license or your passport. It is always good to be prepared. Make sure that you read everything, and don't be afraid to ask questions before signing the document. Look and make sure that everything is written for the amount you requested.


I am buying a house that is in escrow. The seller has delivered the Closing Disclosure and Seller's Real Estate Property Disclosure Statement, but I have not received the HUD-1 Settlement Statement yet. What should I do?

Answer: You do not have to wait for the HUD-1 settlement statement to close your escrow. The seller can sign a blank copy of the HUD-1 settlement statement and write in the information later when it becomes available to them. If you are concerned about this, ask your real estate agent how often sellers complete the HUD-1 form before closing their escrow.

My real estate agent has given me a Closing Disclosure and Seller's Real Estate Property Disclosure Statement. However, I am still waiting for my lender to send me my loan documents, including the HUD-1 settlement statement. What should I do?

Answer: You can still go ahead with closing if all parties agree to proceed without waiting for your lender's documents or if your lender advises you that they are close enough to completion that you can move without them at this time. However, if any problems arise that require corrections after closing (for example, if there is an error on your loan documents), it may be challenging to prove who was at fault. Also, some lenders may not allow you to close unless all of their documents have been received by the title company or attorney.

What happens if I don't receive my Closing Disclosure in time?

Answer: It depends on your situation, but you may have to postpone your closing. If this happens, call your lender immediately so they can send you a new Closing Disclosure right away.

Can I negotiate with my mortgage company about the amount of my closing costs?

Answer: Yes! It would help if you always tried to get the lowest possible price for your loan by negotiating with your lender about whether or not specific fees are necessary for the transaction. For example, if you are buying a home in need of repairs and want to pay for them out of pocket instead of having them included in your loan amount, try negotiating with your lender on this point. If both sides agree that it makes sense for everyone involved, you can do this without any problems!


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  • That's good to know that you will need to provide all the documents that are associated with the house like the certificate of title when you go to close on the house. I am thinking about selling my house and I would want to make sure that I have everything I need beforehand. I'll have to consider getting a real estate agent to both help me sell the house and also prepare for the title settlement.

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