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Selling Your Home: What Happens After I Accept an Offer?

Any homebuyer knows that buying a home is a process that involves many steps. For first time homebuyers or sellers, these steps can seem overwhelming and often intimidating. We understand the process and want to help you navigate the details. Our Duke Warner brokers have decades of experience, selling and buying properties, and anytime you have questions, we are available to help. The following tips can help in the process;

Home Inspection

Once you’ve accepted the offer, what happens next? The home inspection will be scheduled by the buyers, and this inspection will be done by a private home inspector. Typically, the home inspection is conducted 7 business days after the offer has been accepted. From there, the normal timeline for a buyer response is between 48-72 hours after they’ve received the home inspection report.

Repairs

The next step depends on the buyer’s response to the home inspection. If the report dictates that the home is in good condition and doesn’t need any repairs, the seller isn’t responsible to do anything at this stage. If the inspection report calls out specific repairs, then the buyer and the seller will begin negotiations based on the situations of the repairs. Once the negotiations conclude, the repairs are made. Several options can be negotiated, including but not limited to the following scenarios;

  • The buyer asks the seller to do the repairs
  • The seller pays for the repairs and leaves the home price as is
  • The selling price can be dropped to accommodate the repairs costs
  • Both the seller and the buyer discuss the selling price and find a happy medium
  • The buyer decides to pull out of the sale
  • The seller decides to pull out of the purchase

Home Appraisal & Packing

The next step is the home appraisal. The buyer’s lender conducts this appraisal and it typically takes about two weeks to execute. Generally, this is a smooth process, unless there is an issue within the appraisal report. For the seller, the next step is to pack up the contents of the home and vacate the property. The real estate contract should have a specific date listed for the transfer date, where the keys will be handed over to the buyer. The seller can plan around that date, for initiating the packing.

Utilities Final Readings & Transfers of Name

As soon as the offer has been accepted and the real estate deal is final and closed, the buyer needs to get the utilities transferred into their name. The seller will need to contact the city water department and ask for a final reading of the water meter five days before the closing date, otherwise the escrow money will be held until the next water bill is issued. This is an important step that often gets lost in translation because it seems like a minor detail. However, once the deal is closed, the seller will be anxious to receive the money, and it’s unfortunate if it gets held up on a utility technicality.

Clear to Close

The final closing signing will depend on when the lender issues a clear to close letter. More often than not, if the lender is a bank, they will wait until the last possible minute to send the letter. It usually comes one to two days before the closing date. Once the letter is received and the closing is scheduled, both the buyer and the seller will need to be available to sign closing documents. Both parties will need to bring their driver’s license to the signing. Conventional loans usually take a couple of months, so the closing date should be based on that timeline. The closing date are usually determined at the beginning of the contract negotiations.

Celebrate!

For buyers and sellers, this can be a wonderful experience. It’s an exciting time for everyone and with the right agents, the process can be executed with the proper organization and communication desired. At Duke Warner Realty, our brokers will share their experience, knowledge and excitement while they work for you. We know how to price properties according to the market trends and current housing competition. Give us a call or check us out online at www.dukewarner.com.