Congratulations! You’ve accepted an offer on your home!
So, what happens now? Here is what you can expect once you have accepted an offer on your home.
1. First stop: home inspection. Once you and the buyers have come to an agreement, the next step is usually for the buyers to schedule a home inspection.
You should not be present at your home during the inspection. As your real estate agent, I will keep you informed about the progress. Once I hear from the buyers, I will sit down with you to discuss next steps, depending on the buyers’ response to the inspection report. If the inspection found little to nothing, then the buyer isn’t likely to ask for anything.
However, if the report reveals some significant repair needs, we will enter into negotiations. The buyer may ask for repairs or for a decrease in the sales price. In most cases, parties negotiate and come to agreement, whether on a change in contracted price or repairs to be made.
2. Next up: appraisal. The home appraisal is coordinated by the buyer’s lender. It often takes one to two weeks to go from scheduling to final report. If the appraisal comes back favorable, meaning the home appraises at or higher than the contracted price, there is no issue and you can move forward.
The buyer’s lender is not going to make a loan for more than the home’s appraised value. If the appraisal is lower than the contracted price, the buyer could walk away. Most often, the parties agree on a revised contract price, though in some cases, a buyer will put more cash into the deal to make up the difference.
3. The home stretch: get ready to close. This is the day when you should be prepared to turn over the keys to your home. Your home should be clean and ready for its new owners. All of your belongings should be out. Be sure you leave all fixtures and any attached items, such as window coverings, as called for in the contract.
You will also have the opportunity to review your closing documents prior to the closing date.
While it is not your job to transfer utilities to the new owner, you will have wanted to give the utility companies the opportunity to do final readings prior to your closing date. Be sure to give them ample time to schedule this. Be sure all sellers are available for the closing and that they bring a copy of their state-issued IDs.
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