A client recently asked me “What are the steps between accepting an offer and vacating my house?”
What a great question. Getting your home under contract is only part of the real estate transaction. Once you’ve accepted an offer and your home is under contract, you can still expect quite a bit of activity. Here’s a brief overview:
- Most contracts include an option period, generally in the range of 7 to 10 days, that allows the buyer time to inspect the home and complete their own due diligence. The odds are good that the buyer will have questions about the home, and the buyer may also make requests for repairs or adjustment to the price of the home depending on what the buyer discovers during the inspection. As a result, Sellers often spend this time responding to questions and requests from the buyer. During this period of time, the seller needs to order an Energy Audit.
- Once you are past the inspection, the next step is to wait on the buyer’s financing to come through. This typically takes 14 to 21 days, which runs concurrently with the option period.
- From there, you can pack your house and work on moving out.
- The last step is “closing” when all of the documents necessary for banks to fund the sale are signed. Closing does not have to take place at the title company; we have completed closing at homes, offices and even in other countries. All you need for closing is a United States recognized notary and an identification card (sometimes 2 depending on the lender).
- The transaction is complete once it funds and title is transferred. We recommend bringing only 1 key to closing (leave the rest at home in a kitchen drawer along with remotes, warranties, and whatever else goes with the home) and a voided check where you want money wired.
How does “closing” work in relation to paying off my mortgge and transferring title to the property? Do you do the financial transaction first and then the title transfer follows?
That’s right, the money comes in, everything gets paid off with your lender, and then you get the remaining money, if any. The title transfer happens at the same time. You won’t need to do anything other than share your loan info so we can have the correct pay off amounts at closing. And remember! Bring a picture ID and a voided check for the account where you want your sale profit to be deposited.
Paul Reddam | September 2015