Friday, September 30, 2016

Seattle Open Houses October 2nd, 2016

Open House Sunday

If you're currently in the market for a new home, and you like a good deal, you may be in like. Traditionally most people prefer to do their home shopping in the spring and summer, and this drives up the cost of available homes, creating a seller's market.

If you don't mind some rain, and possibly a little snow, then I recommend doing your home search in the autumn or winter. While it's true there will not be as many homes to choose from, there will still be quite a few (you only need to find one!) and there will be much less competition. 

To get you started I'm providing a free downloadable and printable map of all the Mid Century open houses in Seattle on Sunday, October 2nd!

The homes very in price range and condition. Some have never been updated, while others are super modern, definitely something for everyone!

Mid Century not your thing? Maybe you're looking outside of Seattle? Feel free to contact me for a personalized list suited to your needs and wants!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Open House Sundays

Open House Sunday

It's another beautiful weekend to search for that perfect Mid Century home in Seattle, or just do some wishful browsing. 

Below is a downloadable and printable map of all Mid Century open houses happening in the Seattle area this Sunday, August 28th. 

As before, these are not my listings and any cancellations or incorrect times are out of my control. Want a map of a different area in Washington? Just let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fun and Sun in Seattle

Summer is Almost Over!

Back to school time is almost upon us, but there's still a few weekends left of summer vacation. Make the most of this time with your kids or your friends (or just by yourself!) with some of these great events happening this weekend.

Free Entrance Days At National Parks

August 25th - 28th is fee-free day at all national parks. This includes entrance fees as well as some tour and transportation fees. Take your kids to explore nature and enjoy what Washington State has to offer! 

To get more information and find a park near you go here

Chehalis Garlic Fest

Everyone loves garlic, right? Enjoy garlic-y goodness with food, crafts, kids activities, and two stages of live music all weekend long! There will even be a beer garden for the big kids. 

The event goes from August 26th-28th
$5 general admission, kids 7 and under are free!

Bacon, Eggs & Kegs

Don't have kids? Garlic not your thing? Maybe you'd enjoy a Brunchy Booze fest this weekend at Century Link Field! Taste some great food and sample local craft beers (from your very own tasting glass given to you upon entry) on August 27th and 28th from 11am - 3pm. If you're not a fan of beer, like me, there will also be a selection of ciders, bloody Marys, Irish coffees, root beer floats, and a bunch of games! 

Tickets are $40 for Saturday or $35 for Sunday.

To find out more about what your ticket will get you, click here

Don't let the rest of summer pass you buy, get out there and enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fun and Sun in Seattle

Explore Your City!

Whoever you are and whatever you're into, there's always something fun to do in Seattle. From free concerts in the park to viking village reenactments, the Emerald City has it all!

This weekend is going to be HOT, and if you don't want to waste your free time in front of a television, or hear tiny voices chanting "There's nothing to doooooo!" You may want to make weekend plans for some fun in the sun.

Arts in Nature Festival

Held in Seattle's only campground, Camp Long, the Arts in Nature Festival is a weekend of art and performance installations placed around the park. Stroll through the woods as you listen to a variety of music and see art in all medias. This event is held on August 20 - 21 and it's a great way to spend time outdoors with your kids and away from computers and tablets!

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. 

Find more info here

Seattle Street Food Festival

Woods not your thing? Maybe you'll be interested in checking out the Seattle Street Food Festival in South Lake Union instead. Sample culinary delights from over 200 vendors showcasing the very best of the Pacific Northwest. 

Held on August 20 - 21, this festival is free, family friendly, and sure to satisfy everyone's palate. 

Do you know of an event you'd like to showcase? Let us know in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Being Denied Your Dream Home

Have you spent years dreaming up your perfect home? Do you have every room and piece of decor memorized? Have you fantasized about strolling through your perfectly serene neighborhood? Have you ever considered the possibility that you could be told "no"? No to your perfect home, with its perfect rooms, nestled in its perfect neighborhood?

It could happen. 

The truth is most of us don't consider the word "no" when mentally designing our dream home, but a lot of the time that home is just that, a dream. 

So often I find myself with a new home buyer excitedly telling me about the house they'd like me to find, right down to the tiniest detail in the greatest neighborhood and, of course, within their budget. And way too often I have to see the sadness spread across their faces when I tell them "no". 

No, there is no house like that in this neighborhood. 

No, there is no house like that within your budget.

No, there's no house like that within this school district.

No, no, no.

It isn't uncommon for these sweet people to turn on me, tell me I don't know how to do my job, if I was better I could find this house. Believe me when I say if I could deliver everyone's dream home to them I would! But the truth is sometimes their dream home simply does not exist. 

The point of this post is not to discourage you or your dreams, but instead to prepare you for the inevitable, dreaded "NO". I've mentioned in previous posts that finding absolutely everything you want in one home is very rare and compromises will need to be made. The best way to deal with "no" is to have these compromises, or alternate options, decided before you begin your search.

Ask yourself some basic questions. What do you need or want in your dream home? What if those needs and wants aren't an option, do you have an alternate option?

Keep an open mind. Don't turn away from possible homes you don't think will fit your wants, you never know what you might be passing up. Go check it out, if you don't like it, don't buy it!

Trust in your agent, they aren't purposely denying you your dream home. Ask if they can show you how an MLS search works, then you can see for yourself exactly what's available. 

And most importantly, have fun and stay positive!

I hope this has helped prepare you for the big NO. Do you have any questions or advice of your own? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy house hunting!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Good Eats in Seattle

Seattle has some fantastic dining options, whatever you're craving you can find it here. One of my favorite places to spend a casual Saturday evening with friends is the No Bones Beach Club, a tiki inspired vegetarian restaurant and lounge.

This tiki bar got its beginnings as a food truck, but the popularity of its locally inspired cocktails and plant based menu soon lead to the opening of a brick and mortar lounge. 

Not a vegetarian? I promise you their menu will please both meat eaters and plant eaters alike, and their Mid Century tiki decor is an added bonus. Click on the image above to browse their site and see their full menu.

No Bones don't take reservations, and they get incredibly on weekends so be sure to show up early or prepare for a bit of a wait (trust me, it's worth it). Great place for a low key meal with your significant other, or a rowdy night out with the girls!

So go check it out and maybe I'll see you there sometime!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Open House Sundays

It's Open House Sunday!

Summer is here and it's a beautiful day outside, what better way to spend it than looking for your perfect Mid Century home?  

Everyone loves browsing open houses, but making a list of all of them can be time consuming and dull. Well fear not! I have taken the liberty of compiling a downloadable and printable map of all Mid Century open houses in Seattle for today, Aug 16th, 2016.

A couple things to keep in mind:

These are only the Mid Century open houses, not ALL the open houses.

There aren't my listings, if you find one is not actually open it's not my fault, I'm just the messenger!

These open houses are in Seattle, WA. Would you like a map for a different Washington city? Let me know!

I will make new maps each weekend. Happy house hunting!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Building a Community

It used to be that when people decided to buy a new home their focus would be on just that, the home. They wanted a specific style, a specific number of bedrooms, and a perfect white picket fence to hold it all in. Today's home buyers are a little different, they are willing to give up those little home specifics for location luxuries. An extra bedroom or that white picket fence will be easily let go of for the perfect neighborhood. 

Unfortunately, homes are not always available in the neighborhoods of their dreams, which leads to months of searching and constant disappointment. Now, I'm going to be honest here, you can't turn every neighborhood in the town of Mayfield from Leave it to Beaver, but, with a little effort, you CAN turn any neighborhood into a community. 

Turn off the TV, shut that browser, and go outside! Odds are your neighbors aren't going to come to your door one by one and introduce themselves, so get the ball rolling yourself and get out there. 

Introduce yourself. If you have just moved in to a new home simply knock on your neighbor's doors or peek over the fence and introduce yourself. This may be outside of your comfort zone but in order for a community to form you will need to know one another!

Start a garden. This is a great way to break the ice, even if it's just a little flower bed, it's a reason to be outside. When neighbors walk by wave and say hello. If they have their own gardens ask them for tips or offer them some seeds. Prefer a veggie garden? Share your excess produce with your neighbors, they'll really appreciate it.

Introduce neighbors. Once you strike up conversations with a few neighbors you can begin to get them involved with each other. "Hi Bill, how are you? Oh look, there's Mary, have you two met?"

Shop local. Get to know and support local merchants, odds are they're part of your community.

Look around. Don't walk around with your eyes on your phone, look up and smile at people you pass by. 

Be helpful. Offer to help your elderly neighbor with her groceries, let people know when they leave their car windows open in the rain, return a lost dog to his owner, or offer to mow your neighbors lawn. There is always some way to be helpful.

Make holiday displays interactive. This doesn't mean spending thousands on lights and decorations (unless you're into that, then go for it!). Each Halloween I make tombstones with Styrofoam and spray paint, put silly names on them, and set them up in my yard. Little trick-or-treaters love walking through my yard with their parents reading all the names. My neighbors know me for this little tradition and it cost me about $20 to put together. 

Organize a Block Watch. One of the best reasons to know your neighbors is to keep each other safe. Ever heard stories of homes being robbed in broad daylight while neighbors watched? This generally happens because the neighbors have no idea what they're seeing isn't normal, they think maybe you're moving or selling some furniture. Sounds ridiculous but it happens! Hold monthly meetings to talk to your neighbors and encourage them to let each other know when they'll be out of town.

Movie night. Ask people over to watch a movie once a month (or once a week!) and supply some fun snacks for everyone. If you want to go all out suggest a movie theme and make refreshments that coincide.

Host a BBQ. Make it potluck style and invite your closest neighbors.

Host a block party. This is particularly great if you live on a cul-de-sac. Close down the street and invite everyone on the block. Have some fun games or competitions for the kids. 

Don't gossip. Every community has that one neighbor who knows EVERYONE'S business, don't get involved by repeating what you hear, and of course don't be THAT neighbor ;)

Be respectful and understanding. Keep your yard clean. Turn down your music at night. Keep your pets under control. If a neighbor has a complaint listen to them and try to see it from their perspective, don't start a war. Remember, a community means living together in harmony. 

Host a puppy party. Invite the neighborhood pooches to your place for a wrestle session. 

Bake treats. I had a neighbor move in next door just before the holidays. I had baked an abundance of cookies, so I put some in a tin as a gift and went over to introduce myself. The very nice lady started to cry! Turns out they had just moved here from Russia and she was missing her family, and my small gesture made her feel less alone here.

Join the PTA. Volunteer to help out on field trips for your child's class.  

Listen. When your neighbors talk to you really listen and learn some things about them.

Start a game night. Host a family friendly game night at your home. In the summer host outdoor games on the weekend.

Be the welcome wagon. When new neighbors move in introduce yourself and ask if they need anything. New neighbors often need to know things such as where the nearest grocery or drug store is, and what day garbage pickup is on.

Start a community page online. A simple neighborhood page on social media is a great way to keep everyone connected and up to date on community events. Tell your neighbors about the page and encourage them to suggest events they may want others to know about, such as yard sales. While you could allow others to post themselves, it is suggested a moderator be in charge to keep everything civil.

Invite the girls over for tea (or the guys over for beer). Small social gatherings are always the best way to get to know each other.

Building a community may seem like a daunting task but just making a few small steps towards a more social lifestyle can make a huge difference. Have more suggestions for community building? Leave them in the comments, I'd love to read them!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Shopping Local in Seattle, WA


I love thrift store shopping and I think I've visited just about every thrift and antique shops in King and Pierce County. Anyone who enjoys vintage hunting knows that these stores can be hit or miss, but one store that never seems to disappoint is the Freemont Vintage Mall.

Located at 3419 Fremont Pl N in Seattle, this basement thrift store has everything a retro shopper would ever dream of, including a huge selection of Pyrex and vintage chrome dinette sets. This store is a collective of many different vintage sellers, so there is a constant rotation of items meaning something new every time you visit! 

The downside? It's a tad pricey. However, even if it's outside of your price range, it's still a ton of fun to just window shop and maybe make up a retro wish list for your mid century dream home of the future. Go check it out!   

Sunday, March 20, 2016


My husband likes to sleep in on the weekends but I always find myself waking fairly early, so I like to bake him something fun for breakfast before he wakes up. One of the treats I love baking on Saturday mornings are cinnamon rolls, but since they're generally made with a yeast bread that needs to rise they take upwards of 3 hours to make. I may be a morning person but I don't enjoy getting up before the sun just to make breakfast, so needless to say I don't make them very often. 

But this Saturday I was having a serious cinnamon hankering and thought maybe I could find a quick bread recipe, but as I was flipping through the cook book I found a recipe that looked even better, butterscotch rolls! Bring it on!


2 cups all purpose flour                                                                                  3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt                                                                                                       6 Tbs shortening
3/4 cup milk                                                                                                  1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs + 12 tsp butter or margarine                                                                   2 tsp cinnamon
12 tsp brown sugar                                                                                         1/2 cup pecan halves

Preheat your oven to 425°F. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the shortening (I mush it around with my hands until it's well incorporated). 

Add the milk and mix until you can form the dough into a ball. Place on a well floured surface and roll out into a 7x16 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. 

Spread the rectangle with 2 Tbs of soft butter. In a small bowl mix the 1/4 of sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle on top. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to spread it evenly over the dough. 

Beginning at the wide side, tightly roll the dough up and pinch closed along the open edge. Trim about 1/2 an inch off each end of the roll and discard. Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces by making gentle sawing motions with a sharp knife. Try not to push down too much with your knife, you will squish your rolls. 

Prepare a muffin pan by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray or greasing just the sides of each muffin cup. Fill each muffin cup with 1 tsp melted butter, 1 tsp of brown sugar, and 3 pecan halves. At this point I started dreading the process of getting these rolls OUT of the pan, I also ran out of butter so my cups only had 1/4 tsp of butter each :(

Place a roll into each muffin cup and bake for 15 minutes. 

Om nom nom!

Getting them out wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, but most of my pecans stayed in the pan and I had to pick them out by hand and place them on the rolls. This may have been because I didn't use the correct amount of butter. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else has this problem, let me know in the comments!

Monday, March 14, 2016


Finally my busy work schedule is starting to slow down a little bit and I'm able to start baking again! There's really nothing I love more than spending a day baking tasty treats and this weekend I decided to go with something classic, BROWNIES! 


   1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour                                                     1/2 tsp baking powder
   1/4 tsp salt                                                                                  1/3 cup shortening
   1 6oz bag of chocolate chips                                                         2 eggs (not pictured)
   1/2 cup sugar                                                                              1 tsp vanilla extract
   1 cup chopped nuts (optional)                                                       1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Start by preheating your oven to 375°F and grease an 8"x8"x2" brownie pan. In a medium size bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set the bowl aside. In a double broiler melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring until smooth. 

Set the chocolate aside to cool. Meanwhile, beat the eggs together with the sugar in a large bowl until thick.

Add the melted chocolate, flour mixture, and vanilla to the egg mixture. Stir until well combined.

Pour half the batter into the greased pan and sprinkle with half the chopped nuts, and half the chocolate chips (I don't care for nuts, so I opted to only use chocolate chips). Add the rest of the batter and top with the remaining nuts and chocolate chips.

Bake for 25 minutes and allow them to cool in the pan before cutting. Makes approximately 16 squares, or 8 big ones!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Welcome to Retro Realty!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! My name is Thana and I'm a real estate agent working in and around Seattle, WA. I absolutely love the 1950s, especially the architecture, so I specialize in selling and preserving Mid Century homes in Washington state. 

The purpose of this blog is to not only give buyers and sellers information on finding the Mid Century homes of their dreams, but also to give you information on how to transform your home back to all it's retro glory and even tips on living a Mid Century lifestyle in our modern world. That means trying fun retro recipes (don't worry, I only post the tasty ones) retro holiday crafting, fun activities for kids, and a lot more!

Some people ask me "Why do you have all this non-real estate information on your real estate blog?" Well that's simple, I believe in making a house a home! Purchasing a property is only the first step of home ownership, and in my experience those who are interested in purchasing a Mid Century home are often also interested in a Mid Century lifestyle. I don't believe my job ends when I hand my clients their keys, I want to be there for them as they continue the process of making their new house a home. 

I try to update my blog as often as I can, but sometimes my work schedule does not allow it. If you notice there haven't been any new posts in awhile don't worry, I have not abandoned it! I will return on my downtime. 

I hope you enjoy your visit here, and please feel free to share your thoughts on my posts, or your suggestions for new ones!  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Why you shouldn't waste the cold months dreaming of a Spring purchase.

Every winter the same thing happens to me; I meet someone new at a holiday gathering or a night out and when they learn I'm a real estate agent they say "Oh! We are actually planning on buying a home, but we're going to wait until the spring of course." My response is always the same, the best time for them to buy a home is NOW. 

You may be thinking "Of course you'd say that, agents always want you to buy a house NOW." But there are some huge benefits to buying in the winter that buyers miss out on in the spring and summer. 

Competition - Spring and summer is when everyone wants to move, the market explodes and agents lose their minds trying to keep up with demands. If you're a seller this is a great time of year, but if you're a buyer you're going to be struggling to keep your head above water in the sea of other buyers. In the real estate world everything comes down to supply and demand, and when the demand out numbers the supply things get hectic. Prices will soar and homes will get nabbed right out from under you, it's stressful and frustrating.

It's a common myth that people don't sell homes in the winter, but the truth is people are ALWAYS selling homes. Buying in the winter means you may not have as many choices, but you also don't have the competition. You can take your time, browse more leisurely, and worry less about multiple offers.

Negotiations - People who choose to sell in the winter often need to move quickly, maybe for a job relocation or family situation, and don't have the luxury of waiting for the spring. This means they will be much more open to negotiations and you could get a much better deal. 

Great Prices - In the winter the supply of homes will outweigh the demand for them, which means buyers get to be picky about what they'll pay. Unlike in the warmer months, when buyers often offer above asking price to beat out other offers, in the winter buyers can offer below asking price without any eyebrow raises. 

Better Inspections - The winter offers some great seasonal advantages when it comes to inspecting homes. Does the roof have any leaks? You'll sure know if it does in the winter (especially in the Pacific Northwest). Does the heater work properly? Are the windows and doors drafty? Are the fireplaces functional? All these things can be tested in the spring and summer, but any faults are much easier to notice in the winter, especially the leaks and drafts. 

Professional Help - Probably the best part of buying in the winter is the availability of professionals to help you out. This is a slow time of year for agents, inspectors, contractors, lenders, and anyone else you may need, and they'll all be more than happy to cater to your needs! 

So, if you're ready to buy a home but were planning on holding off for the spring, you may want to rethink your plan. Put on a warm coat and go get a great deal on your new home! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Creating a Dream Home Wish List

Are you itching to get into a new, or possibly first, home but you aren't quite ready to start looking? Maybe you have to bump that credit score up a few notches, maybe you don't want to move your kids in the middle of the school year, or maybe you just have a bit more down payment saving to do. Whatever the reason, you're like a kid counting down the days to the Disney vacation your parents have promised and you just HAVE to do something! I hear ya. 

I was probably the most impatient child in the world, and I'm not much better as an adult, so when I had to wait weeks or months for something I would spend the time basically making a really pretty list. In other words I would write down things I would need for the big day, or things I wanted to do, and I would decorate it with drawings, magazine clippings, I'd make a collage basically. 

OK, stay with me here, I'm not actually telling you to create a giant collage of how badly you want your new home (though I'm not telling you NOT to, either) but making a very detailed list is something that will benefit you later. 

When you finally meet with your agent one of the first things they'll ask you is "What are you looking for in your new home? What features and amenities do you need or want?" More often than not, when I ask this question to my buyers, I'm met with blank stares because all they've been thinking about is that they want a house, they didn't really consider what kind of house. My favorite answer I've gotten to this question was "Well, I want some bedrooms.. And DEFINITELY a kitchen!"

In order for your agent to find you the home you want they obviously need to know what you're looking for, and it can be harder than you think to create that list on the spot. Starting early and coming to that first meeting with a solid list of wants and needs will help find you a home quicker and with less frustration.


First, come up with a basic list of features that you both want and need. Odds are you won't get everything on your list, but it never hurts to dream big. Don't refrain from writing something down because you think it won't exist in your price range or something. The point of the list is to give your agent as much info as possible, so even if they can't find the authentic zen garden you've always wanted, they can maybe come close. 

Here's a list to get you started.
  • Age: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?
  • Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
  • Bedrooms: How many?
  • Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
  • Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
  • Stories: How many?
  • Square feet: How much space?
  • Ceilings: How high?
  • Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
  • Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
  • Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
  • Extras: Attic or basement?


The next thing to work on is the amenities you and your family will need. This list usually takes a bit more thought, and now a days neighborhood amenities seem to hold precedence over features for a lot of buyers. Can you live in a slightly smaller house if it means a shorter commute to work? Will you give up that two car garage for a better school district? Take your time thinking about what you want in a house vs what you want in a life style, what's best for you and your family?

Here are some things to consider.
  Home amenities and extras
  • Office
  • Play/exercise room
  • Security system
  • Sprinkler system
  • Workshop/Studio
  • In-law suite
  • Fireplace
  • Pool
  • Hot tub
  • Sidewalk
  • Wooded lot
  • Patio, deck, or porch
  • Laundry room
  Neighborhood amenities
  • Commute time: Specific time limit? The ability to walk or bike?
  • Restaurants
  • Parks and recreation
  • Distance from friends/family
  • School district
  • Shopping and grocery options
  • City or country
  • Foot traffic
  • Pet friendly
This is only a small amount of stuff to consider and a good agent will ask you about all of it, perhaps even more. So grab a pen (and maybe some magazines and glue sticks) and you'll be walking into that agent meeting, fully prepared, before you know it. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Shopping Local in Tacoma WA

Shopping Local in Tacoma, WA

I've always been a big advocate of shopping local, so I thought "Why not spotlight some of my favorite local shops for others to explore?" Well that's just what I'm going to do!

Why shop local?

There are many reasons to support local business. The top reasons that come to mind with most people are keeping money local, supporting their community, and getting a deeper understanding of where their products are coming from, especially if we're talking about food. My favorite reason for shopping local is the personal connections I make with local shop owners and farmers. I love learning about their businesses and why they do what they do, which is not an experience one normally gets at a big box store. We all need to make purchases, but knowing my purchases are making a difference in my community means a lot to me, so I encourage everyone to shop local as often as they can!

One of my favorite shops is the Pacific Northwest Shop in the Proctor district of Tacoma, WA. This family owned store was opened nearly 30 years ago and is dedicated to selling products made in the Pacific Northwest, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. 

Why do I like this shop so much? The owners and their staff are always so friendly, they have an amazing knowledge of their products, and they have SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. Seriously, the huckleberry filled dark chocolates are to die for. 

They have an annual sale during the last week of January, so I recommend you try and make it down there. If you can't make their sale, try to stop in next month for some unique Valentine's day gifts! Aside from the obvious chocolate gift choice, they also feature Mt. St. Helens volcanic ash hand blown glass hearts. They're all one-of-a-kind and look so pretty hanging in front of windows.

If you have a favorite local shop you'd like me to spotlight please mention it in the comments!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Step Eight - Close the Deal

"Closing" refers to transferring ownership of the house from you to the buyer. Traditionally everyone, the buyer and their agent, the seller and their agent, and the escrow officer would all come together to go over paperwork. Once everyone agreed with the numbers they would sign, the buyer would pay their closing costs, and the keys would be handed over. 

While that may still happen today, it can also go quite differently. New technology allows buyers and sellers to sign remotely or with Esignatures. Your agent can go over all final costs with you and once you're ready you can sign wherever is most convenient for you. 

To be helpful to the new buyer you can prepare a "to do" list for them which includes reminders to switch all utilities into their name. It's also a good idea to gather all warranties and maintenance manuals for the home appliances and leave them in an easy to find place. 

Before you leave your home for the last time gather all your house keys, including any copies, and leave them inside the house for the new owners. The buyer's agent will be able to let them in by removing the showing key from the keybox, which will also be given to them. 

Remember, this is just a couple of ways closing may happen. How your agent manages closing will depend on whether they prefer to do things the traditional way or with a more modern flair.