What Happens After I Accept an Offer?
So you’ve accepted an offer on your home, congrats! Now what? After you accept an offer your home has now entered what we call ‘pending’ status. If you have accepted a contingency with the offer, such as the buyer needing to sell their home first, your home may stay listed as active but will have a contingency behind it (consult me if you want to know more about how that works).
One of the first orders of business is to order the title search on the property. The buyer or buyer’s agent will turn in the earnest money (if part of the the offer) to the title company so it can be deposited into an escrow account. This deposit has to be made within 10 banking days of the sales contract.
Next the home inspection and/or other inspections will be ordered (if applicable), as well as any requested surveys. As a seller you are not normally present during the actual inspection, so plan on being out of the house for several hours to allow the inspector plenty of time. The buyer’s agent and/or the buyers will most likely accompany the inspector. You may have to make arrangements to accommodate other types of inspections that may happen on different days.
After inspections have been completed you will receive an inspection report that will outline how the buyers would like to proceed. You may be asked to fix specific items or the buyers may ask for a price reduction or credit in lieu of the repairs. If the buyer is obtaining a FHA, VA, or USDA/RD loan you may be required to fix certain repairs if in order to sell the home.
Once the title work has come back it will be reviewed by the buyer. If there are issues found it could halt or prolong the sale of your home. Your agent will explain the issues and work with you to mitigate them to continue with the sale.
An appraisal will also be ordered by the buyer’s lender. This involves the appraiser coming out to the property to access the condition of the home, take square footage, and pictures. Your home will be compared to ‘like’ properties to get the best possible value. When the appraisal is completed and the value of the home is equal to or greater than the sales price then the process can continue. However, if the value of the homes comes in lower than the agreed upon sales price you will have a few options to consider. You can either lower the sales price to the appraised value, ask the buyer to come up with the difference, or both parties can walk away.
Next, it’s time to prepare for the move. If you haven’t already started packing now is the time to do so. Be sure not to take anything that should stay with the house. If you are unsure what is supposed to stay, consult your realtor and review the contract.
The buyer will handle transferring all utilities into their name. Be sure to leave all utilities on since they will need to be functioning at the time of the final walkthrough. The final walkthrough can happen anywhere from a couple of days before closing right up to closing. The buyer’s agent will schedule the final walkthrough to make sure the date and time works for you.
If you’ve made it this far then the lender has probably given the ‘clear to close.’ A couple of days before closing the ALTA settlement statement will be sent to both parties. Be sure to review the statement with your agent so you will know if you need to bring any money to closing. Have your check (or cashier’s check) prepared and ready to go, and remember to bring the keys.
Now, it’s time to sign.