If you've never sold a home before or if it's just been a while, the process may seem a little bit cloudy. You know that you can review the offers and eventually accept one, but what happens next? Here's what happens after a seller accepts an offer.
Chances are, you've accepted the offer as it is otherwise you have counter-offered with the buyer until you both agree on the terms and price stated therein. So what happens after you've said yes to the offer and signed all the documents?
The next step is the home inspection.
The buyer will schedule the home inspection and typically the buyer's agent, buyer, and the inspector will all be present. It is not typical for the seller to be present during the home inspection but it's not on allowed either. Most of the time sellers take 2 to 3 hours away from the home while the buyer, buyers agent, and inspector can discuss the property. This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and will happen within seven business days after an accepted offer.
After the inspection is completed the buyer will receive a report and will typically have between 2 to 3 days to respond to the inspection back to the seller. If we are your listing agent we will keep you informed about the inspection, times, scheduling, and when we will receive the report back. If the home is in good condition and doesn't need any repairs then the transaction will move on to pending but there are other options that a buyer can take.
Here are the options a buyer has after the home inspection report is completed:
- The buyer may ask for certain repairs
- The buyer may ask to decrease the selling price in order to pay for repairs or replacements
- The buyer has a choice to withdraw or terminate the transaction no questions asked and no explanation.
- The seller may want to withdraw the offer but there are limitations and restrictions to this option
- Both parties negotiate and agree upon a sale price/repairs/replacements that are needed.
Once all documents and negotiations are completed and signed off on then the next step is the home appraisal.
The home appraisal will take about 7 to 14 days and if there are no issues the transaction will continue on down the line. If for some reason the appraisal comes in lower than the offer price the seller has several options. The seller can either lower the price to meet the appraisal, the buyer can make up the difference with cash, or the transaction can be terminated by either buyer or seller and start over.
After the appraisal and inspection are cleared there's about a 95% chance the deal will close. But, there is that 5% chance that something could go wrong. The buyers financing could fall through, contingencies could be unsatisfied, or something even more tragic could happen, God forbid. This is usually the time that buyers and sellers start packing, utilities are finalized and/or moved into the new owner's name, and there will be a final walk-through right before closing.
Buyers will typically make a walk-through regardless of the inspection report. They want to verify that the home is as it should be when they first saw it. Sellers cannot trash the home or leave behind large items and any inspection items must be cleared and inspected again by the buyer and/or their agent for verification. If anything is not completed, this will need to be done and another walk-through may be requested.
Escrow will call for final signing.
Once everything is completed, all the documents are lined up, all the contingencies and addendum are satisfied the escrow, title company, or listing agent will call you for final signing. Everyone on the deed/title of the property will need to sign the final closing documents. After the seller has left the escrow or title company the buyer will come in and sign the documents as well. Once everything is verified, signed, and monies are dispersed only then can the buyer receive the keys to the property.
Sellers may have three days to vacate the property but this must be in writing and signed off on by both buyer and seller in the purchase and sale contract. Closing can happen upon signing or three days after closing depending on the agreements in the purchase and sale contract.
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