“Isn’t the Mortgage Balance Overstated?”

One of the most common questions Sellers have at closing is why their online mortgage balance (or per their final statement) differs from the loan “pay-off” amount.

If you haven’t sold a home recently, the latter is typically higher by anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on the loan amount.

The explanation?

The Seller’s number is the principal amount of the loan.

Because mortgage interest is accrued in arrears, to determine the final balance, you need to calculate interest for the final month (or fraction thereof).

Closing Anecdotes

Today’s Sunday New York Times has an entertaining story, “Bang!  You’re Closed,” devoted to closing anecdotes.

The most memorable (at least to me):  the Seller who was so vexed by the Buyer’s behavior at closing that they stormed out, went back to their house, and removed all the light bulbs.

While I do have some closing stories of my own (that shall remain private), for the record, I have never seen objects flung, blood spilled, or any of the other theatrics mentioned in the article.

Chalk it up to “Minnesota Nice” (vs. New York Mean?) — plus the fact that, in a deal where emotions are running especially high, one party (or both) usually opts to pre-sign.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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