4 Things You MUST Understand When Your House Goes Under Contract

4 Things You MUST Understand When Your House Goes Under Contract

So, that happy day arrives when you come to an agreement with a buyer and your house is under contract. Now you can sit back, relax, and wait for the closing check to arrive, right?

WooWhooooo! It’s peanut butter jelly time!

Well, not exactly. There’s still a lot of work to be done and hurdles to clear before the sale can be finalized, which typically takes about six to eight weeks.

Here are four things you must know about when your house goes under contract.

  1. Buyer’s Loan Approval
  2. Home Inspections
  3. Escrow and Title Work
  4. Seller Responsibilities

1. Buyer’s Loan Approval. Ideally, your buyer will already be pre-approved by a lender at the time they contract on the house. This will save everyone time and effort, because they’ve already completed many of the steps necessary to get final loan approval.

Whether they are preapproved or not, though, there are still steps that must be completed before final loan approval is obtained. If your home sale is contingent on the buyer obtaining financing, it can be a bit nerve-wracking while you’re waiting to hear whether they’ve obtained approval or not. Your Realtor® will let you know as soon as the buyer’s loan approval is obtained, which usually takes about two to three weeks.

2. Home Inspections. The buyer will probably have a general home inspection performed, during which the inspector will check out your home’s structure and systems to make sure they’re in normal operating condition. If the inspection shows that repairs are needed, get estimates and have them completed before the buyer’s final walk-through. The buyer may also have other specialized inspections completed, such as those for well and septic systems and wood destroying organisms.

3. Escrow and Title Work. An impartial third-party attorney or closing company will get to work as soon as the contract is signed. They’ll order a preliminary title report, calculate the amount of the property tax that will be due on the day of closing, obtain a payoff amount from your mortgage company, and gather all the paperwork that’s necessary to close. They also act as a coordinator for the entire closing process, working closely with both the seller and the buyer to make sure that everything is in order.

4. Seller Responsibilities. As the home seller, there are a few things you need to do while you’re waiting for the closing to happen. Provide any documents and contact information that the closing company requests. Keep your home maintained in the same condition it was at the time of contract, and be sure to keep your homeowner’s insurance policy in full force through the date of closing.

As the closing nears, contact your utility companies to transfer service to your new place (but be sure to keep the utilities on at your old house through the date of closing; otherwise, the closing could be delayed if the buyers can’t complete their final walkthrough). Be sure to set up a change of address with the post office before you move, too.

Your listing agent or the closing company will notify you of the closing date as it approaches, and Best local realtor - 4 Things You MUST Understand When Your House Goes Under Contractcoordinate a convenient time for you to sign all the final documents.

Once the closing day arrives and you have the proceeds check in your hands, it will finally be time to celebrate. All of the hard work of selling your home will be behind you, and you’ll be able to move forward to your next adventure!

A great local real estate agent will be there for you to navigate all the “ins and outs.”

As always, let me know if you need any help!

allison {at} agentsparks {dot} com