This is the moment you’ve been waiting for: the offer was accepted! The house that you put on the market to sell has been not just seen by a prospective buyer, but that buyer has valued your property so much that they negotiated and accepted the price you asked for. Now you are free to collect the cash and move out, right?
Not so fast! Here’s what you have to look forward to in the next couple of months:
The Escrow Period
Usually this period of time between the acceptance of an offer and the closing date lasts thirty days. In this window there is much to be done by the buyer and seller to meet the specifications of the title before keys and money can be exchanged.
The pressure is on this person to get financed for a mortgage (if they were not already prequalified). They must negotiate with their lender during this time for best interest rate and payment option. Once they decide on their lender, assuming they won’t be paying cash for the home, their lender will have an appraisal and inspection done. They also will be looking into obtaining buildings insurance
Now the seller will write up the contract and send it to the buyer to look over, amend, and negotiate the terms of the contract. These terms include closing costs, contingency offers, and the transfer of the deed. The buyer may counter items they want to be left behind such as appliances, fixtures, drapes, and/or lawn furniture and may specify repairs that they would like to see made to the property before they take ownership. During this period it is up to the seller to work with their attorney to negotiate these terms with the buyer and to make these changes to the property before the final walk-through.
After Walk-through, Closing Date
It’s been a full month of working with real estate agents, inspectors, surveyors, appraisers, lenders, attorneys, title and insurance companies. It may seem like every spare moment was filled with getting to this point, but when final documents are signed, closing costs are paid and legal ownership has been transferred it will have been worth it to have your old house sold.