A buyer put in an offer on your house and you have decided to accept. Time to celebrate, right?
You’ve put in a lot of work to get to this point but you’re still only halfway there. Now it’s the buyer’s turn to negotiate and secure financing before finishing the deal. Plus, there are several contingencies that allow both you or the buyer to back out of the deal so don’t start packing your bags just yet.
So what happens after you accept an offer on your house? Let’s find out.
A home inspection is not required for every real estate transaction, but real estate professionals strongly recommend that buyers request one before purchasing a property. It’s the only way to know the true condition of the property. Any issues that the inspection finds are grounds for negotiation with you, the seller.
They may ask you to make the repairs as part of the contract. Or they may ask for a reduction in purchase price because they will have to make the repairs later. If they decide they don’t want to deal with the problems at all, they may even take advantage of the inspection contingency and back out of the contract.
The buyer (or their agent) hires the inspector and pays for the inspection. This process can take a few days depending on the availability of an inspector. While you can prepare your home for the inspection there isn’t much else for you to do during this time other than wait.
The buyer’s lender will request an appraisal before the contract can be completed. This is to ensure that the value of the home is in line with the purchase price.
What if the appraisal report puts the value of the home significantly lower that the price you’ve agreed upon? The buyer can negotiate with you to lower the cost, request repairs that would raise the value of the home, or walk away from the deal. The appraisal contingency allows the buyer to back out at this point without consequence.
If the appraisal is lower than you think it should be, you can try to fight it and get that number up where it should be.
Time to Pack
It’s at this point that you’ll want to start packing. With the inspection and appraisal out of the way, there are few things left to make a buyer balk and walk away.
Don’t worry, though, you still have plenty of time before you actually have to be out. The buyer will be waiting for their lender to underwrite their loan, etc.
However, moving is a big job, particularly if you’ve lived in the same house for a number of years. Do yourself a favor and start early.
Wait for Financing
Most buyers will need to secure financing and that takes time. In your contract, you will outline how much time you will give the buyer to obtain the funds. This is typically 30 or 45 days.
If the buyer fails to get financing during this window, you can back out of the deal using the financing contingency. They can also use this contingency if they are unable to get a satisfactory loan.
Note: You can continue to show the home during this period if you wish. You can’t accept another offer but you can give yourself options if the deal ends up falling through.
Time to Close
If everything goes according to plan, you’ll be able to keep the original closing date that you agreed upon when you accepted the offer. If some things took a bit longer you’ll have to adjust the date.
Closing simply consists of signing the appropriate documents, paying off your mortgage balance if you have one, and receiving the rest of the funds for your home.
Help Along the Way
Now that you know what happens after you accept an offer on your house, you can see there is a lot that needs to happen before closing. The absolute best way to ensure that this all goes smoothly and is stress-free for you is to work with a knowledgeable agent.
Should you invest in repairs the buyer is requesting? How much should you be willing to drop the price based on the appraisal? Does the buyer seem quite serious or should you continue to show the house after you’ve accepted an offer?
A real estate professional can help you answer all of these questions and more.
Does the commission you’ll have to pay make you shy away from hiring a real estate agent? It shouldn’t. An agent who does their job well will work to get you the highest possible price for your home.
Plus, what if you could get the help of a professional and pay only a fraction of the typical commission? You can.
At the prices we’re offering, your agent will pay for themselves and probably put even more money in your pocket. Plus, you’ll feel less stressed and have more peace of mind during the process with a professional at your side.
Check out how Clever’s Partner Agents can help you sell your house today.