Seller Instructions


Familiarize yourself with the suggestions for purchasing a home.

Find a copy of your deed, survey, if any, title insurance policy, death certificate of deceased joint owner, where applicable, and the name, address and account number of your present mortgage company.

Be prepared for unanticipated delays in settlement.

Arrange with the City of Philadelphia Water Department or your local water company for a current reading of your water meter.

Obtain an oil or gas reading the day before settlement and bring a receipt to settlement.

Your house must be empty of all furniture and in broom clean condition at the time of settlement.

After settlement, notify your insurance agent to cancel your homeowner’s insurance and request a refund of the unexpired premium. Be sure you have similar coverage on your new home.

If you have an FHA or VA mortgage, you must notify them in writing at least thirty (30) days before settlement or you may be charged an additional month’s interest.

Do not make the mortgage payment for the month you will have settlement.


You should engage the services of a Realtor, on a negotiated fee basis, to evaluate your home and suggest an asking price as well as recommend improvements that will make the house “show” better. These may be to reduce clutter, or to paint certain areas, that buyers typically pay special attention to and that influence their reactions to a house they are viewing.

You will have to determine how to market and advertise the sale of your home. You may want to prepare a one-page list of its features. Buyers are interested in knowing the number of rooms, bedrooms, baths, etc., the size of the lot, real estate taxes, the type of heating system, whether there is air conditioning, how water and sewer are supplied (for example: public or private, well, on-site septic system), if any personal property items are included in the sale of the house, what appliances are included or excluded. You must be careful not to misrepresent any information that you provide, to avoid any liability on your part, even after settlement on the house.

In Pennsylvania, you must complete a Seller’s Disclosure about the property and its condition and history. You may use this form .

You will have to screen all calls from potential buyers. You will also have to be present to show your home. You should make sure you have good security arrangements, especially for valuable items, so that there is less risk of loss.

One of the benefits of using a Realtor to find a buyer is that the Realtor pre-qualifies potential buyers. The Realtor interviews the buyers before showing the home, to determine that the buyer has sufficient income and assets to qualify for a mortgage or to pay cash for the property. This reduces traffic by buyers who are not able to buy your home.

 Instructions to be given to Buyer:

  1.  As soon as you and the Seller have signed the Agreement of Sale, you should get a binder for Homeowner’s Insurance coverage.
  2.  In your appointment book or diary, write down all contingency dates, such as Inspections, Mortgage Application, and Mortgage Commitment dates.  If any of the dates cannot be met, you will have to request an extension from the Seller. The Seller is not obligated to extend your deadlines. Failure to meet the deadlines may result in your giving up the contingency.
  3.  It is your responsibility to order title insurance. If you do not know a title insurance agent or company, ask your attorney for recommendations.
  4.  Tell the title company to prepare a Deed for you. Also ask the title company to send copies of the title report to your mortgage lender and to the Realtors and any lawyers involved.
  5.  You must advise the Seller immediately if you want to cancel the Agreement because of any inspection results or if you are unable to get a Mortgage Commitment.
  6.  You must provide the mortgage company with the financial and other information it requests, so that your application can be processed in time for your settlement.
  7.  You will have to give your mortgage lender its copy of the Homeowner’s Insurance policy. Be sure to follow the mortgage lender’s instructions about the amount of insurance and how the lender should be named.
  8.  You may not move into the property or make any repairs until after settlement.
  9.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you have met all of your deadlines in the Agreement.

Return to FAQs about Real Estate

Return to  Home Page

© 2008 Miriam N. Jacobson