My home is under contract – What are my next steps?

You have made it through the negotiations and accepted an offer on your home.  Now, your Realtor® is going to really get to work!  This part of the home sales process is one of the toughest.  There are many things during this critical period that can go the wrong direction without careful attention (and a little bit of crossed fingers).

Inspections:j0433856

Usually within the first week, the buyers agent will schedule inspections requested by the buyer.  You can usually expect the buyer to have a home inspection and pest inspection but you may also see a septic inspection, well inspection/water test, radon test and a survey. Let’s take a closer look at what you can  expect with each one:

  • Home Inspection: A licensed home inspector selected by the buyer will come to your home and spend between 2 to 4 hours checking out your home for problems.  They will be looking at just about everything and especially focusing on safety items.  The big items are the roof, electrical, plumbing, the heating/AC system, structure, insulation, windows/doors and siding.  They will check for any red flags like water intrusion, mold, rot and damage.  They will also check to make sure appliances are operational, plumbing fixtures work properly, windows and doors open and close, light fixtures work and fireplaces function.  Most inspectors are not concerned with small cosmetic issues.  They are there to make sure the home is safe and items are functioning as intended.
  • Pest inspection:  A licensed termite inspector will come out and carefully inspect the perimeter of the home, the basement/crawlspace, garage and interior, paying close attention to wood that may be in contact with the ground.  They are especially focusing on damaged wood caused by termite tunnels.
  • Septic Inspections: For homes that have their own septic system, it is highly recommended that a buyer have a septic inspection to make sure the system is operating properly.  The tank and leach field will be checked along with any alarms and pumps.
  • Well inspection/water test:  If the buyer is obtaining a government loan, a water test may be required by the lender.  The buyer will also want to ensure the pump is working properly and the water is safe to drink.  A small sample will be taken and sent to a lab for testing with results in 2-4 days.
  • Radon test:  Radon is a gas that comes up from the ground and can be trapped in your home that can cause many health problems.  Radon testing has become more popular in recent years and many areas are prone to radon.  It is often seen in homes with basements and many buyers will spend the extra money to have this testing done.  Radon can be mitigated but can be costly in some cases.
  • Survey:  Some buyers may want a survey done to identify the boundaries of the property and to ensure there are no encroachments.  They will research records for any right of ways or easements and verify acreage.

 

clipped images,cropped images,cropped pictures,icons,magnification,magnifying,magnifying glasses,PNG,searches,searching,transparent backgroundAfter all inspections have been completed, the buyers will go through all the reports and may come back to you to ask for items to be repaired or replaced.  This is all done during the Due Diligence period in North Carolina.  The buyer can ask for repairs, replacements or re-negotiate the contract and the seller will have a decision to make.  You can agree to some or all of the repairs or choose not to make any repairs.  These requests and negotiations can become very heated and emotional and many contracts have fallen apart at this point.  As a seller, one way you can make the inspections less stressful is to have inspections done before you list your home and be aware of any items that need to be repaired and then either fix them or let the buyer know upfront the asking price reflects known repairs that are needed.  If termites are found or past damage, you may have no choice but to treat your home as the buyers lender may not finance the home without it.  If your water test comes back with unacceptable results, you many need to treat your well and have a new test done and if Radon gas is found in high levels, you will probably be asked to have it mitigated by a professional.

Financing:

During this time, the buyer will be working with their lender to move the loan forward.  An appraiser will contact you to schedule a time to come out and appraise your home for the buyers lender.  Make sure you have looks it’s best  to showcase it’s features for the appraiser.  If the appraisal comes back too low, you will have another decision to make.  The buyer will most likely want to renegotiate the price of the home to match the market.

Due Diligence Date:

In NC, the buyer has up to this date to do all their “due Diligence” for the home. They must ensure their inspections are done, all paperwork has been reviewed, financing is on track and they still want to purchase the property.  The can ask for an extension of the Due Diligence date but the seller is not required to give an extension.  This date is critical as the buyer is saying “I am buying this house for sure” after this date.

Moving:deliveries,delivery vans,moving,moving vans,transportation,trucks,vans,vehicles

You have most likely been packing your home for the big move, but now the date is getting real close and you need to ensure you will have everything out before the final walk-thru and closing.  Be sure the home is cleaned out and cleaned up to avoid any delays.  The buyer will come out the day before or before closing to ensure the home is still in the same or better condition as it was when they first saw it.

Closing:

The buyer will have selected a closing attorney (North Carolina is an attorney state) to perform the closing.  You will normally have a settlement statement a couple days in advance of the close to review all the numbers and make sure everything is correct.  This will help avoid any last minute delays or problems but don’t be surprised if you don’t see one until you are sitting at the closing table.  On the close date, attend the closing, bring your id’s, keys, remotes and anything else the buyer may need.  You will go over the settlement statement again and sign the seller documents and then will most likely be asked to leave.  You do not need to stay while the buyer signs their loan documents.  The attorney will give the keys to the buyer when the deed is recorded.  Any funds you may be expecting will be disbursed after recording also.

 

My Best Tip: Be patient, be flexible and expect repair requests or delays.  In almost every transaction these days, there is almost always something that comes up that will try your patience but your agent will help you through the rough spots and get you to the end.

 

Other titles in the seller series:

Article #1: Seller Questions Answered – A preview to Listing your home for Sale
Article #2: What do I need to do to prepare my home for sale?
Article #3: Why do I need an Real Estate agent and how do I select one?
Article #4: I have signed the paperwork, now what? -What to expect during the listing period
Article #5: A buyer wants to see my home -How can I maximize showing opportunities?
Article #6: I have received an offer – now what?
Article #7: My home is under contract – What are the next steps?
Article #8: What can I do to prepare for my move?
Article #9: What can I expect at the closing table?
Article #10:  What happens after my home is SOLD?

 

 

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Home Style Title card

Sonya Leonard –Keller Williams Realty – Mooresville NC.  The Home Style Team provides free access to individualized home searches for all homes in Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman, Lake Norman and the entire Lake Norman Area.  Explore buyer and seller reports, community resources, new home communities, and be sure to sign up for instant alerts to help find your dream home.  Let Sonya help you INVEST in Real Estate and your Future! (704) 450-0588.

What can I expect during the listing period?

109 Alexander Knoll Drive 045 Now that you have signed the listing paperwork and have prepared your home to looks its very best, your listing will be placed on the local Multiple Listing Service and will be visible to all the agents that are members of that MLS.  Your listing will also be syndicated out to many other real estate websites such as Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Homes.com as well as your agents website, company website and hundreds of other places.  Your home is now LIVE to the public at large!

SHOWINGS:

You will have a lockbox placed on your door to allow access to buyers agents showing to their clients.  A showing service will call you to schedule the day and time of your showing and will then call the agent back to confirm the showing.  What do you need to do?  Just be sure your home is in the best showing condition it can be in.  Make the beds, put away all dirty dishes, pick up the house, put away dirty clothes and make sure the bathrooms and kitchen sparkle.  Be sure your home is as “odor free” as possible.  Don’t go around spraying a strong air freshener just before the showing (some people are hyper sensitive to strong odors), make sure the litter box is cleaned out, air out any left over odors from cooking and try to avoid incense.  Turn on all the lights in the home to make it as bright as possible and turn on some soft music (low) to set the stage. Last but not least – Leave.  Buyers need to be able to look around your home without you being present.  They are more comfortable and will take a real good look at your home.

Your agent will make sure you receive feedback from the other agent once the showing is over.  In some cases, you may get showings and no offers.  At this time, you may need to discuss a price reduction or other strategy with your agent to encourage more traffic.  Have your agent do an updated Market Analysis to see if your home is still priced correctly.

OFFERS:

One of those buyers that looked at your home may come back for a second look (and even a third) and will bring you an offer to purchase.  Your agent will get together with you to go over the offered terms and you will discuss if you want to accept the offer as written, counter with other terms or just reject the offer outright.  You may be happy with some of the terms, but want to change others.  This is your reason for having a great agent!  Your agent will help you negotiate the best price and terms and convey that to the other agent.  Hopefully a win-win situation will be reached and the offer will be signed.

INSPECTIONS:

The first hurdle after contract acceptance is the inspection. The buyer will hire a professional inspector to thoroughly go over your home looking for major and minor defects (no home is perfect!). Areas of specific concern are: roof, furnace, structure, electrical and plumbing.  It is advisable to have a pre-inspection done before listing your home to avoid any big surprises that may pop up after you have negotiated a price.  In NC, the buyer has a Due Diligence period in which to do all their inspections, surveys, review covenants and get their loan through underwriting.  The buyer has the right to walk away from the transaction for no reason or ANY reason in this state during that period.  After the buyer completes their due diligence, they may ask you to repair some items and you will have to decided what you will do. Most buyers will expect any large items to be corrected but usually will be flexible on the small items.  This is one of the trickiest times in the process and can cause many contracts to be terminated.  Work with your agent to find the best solution for all involved.

CLOSING:

Once all the inspections are complete and any repairs handled, you will prepare for closing on your home.  This is the time to get packing!  Get a checklist to keep you on track (I have a great one for you).  Make sure to leave any warranties or manuals for appliances or other equipment staying in the home.  Leave the garage door openers, alarm instructions, fan remotes and any touch up paint you have left.  Clean out sheds and garages. Clean up the house and make sure all your personal items are removed before the final walk-thru.

You should receive a preliminary settlement statement for review before the closing, but that is not always the case.  Be prepared to have to make changes at the closing table.  All parties to the loan and deed should be present to sign.  Be sure to bring your ID for the attorney and any funds in certified form (if required) and the keys you will hand over to the buyers once the deed is recorded.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED:

This is just a quick summary of the things to expect during the listing period but be prepared for anything.  Getting a transaction from offer acceptance to the closing table is no easy feat and requires patience and flexibility. Just be prepared to make adjustments.  Your agent will work with you to make this time as smooth as possible so that soon you will be moving forward with your plans.

 

Other titles in the seller series:

Article #1: Seller Questions Answered – A preview to Listing your home for Sale
Article #2: What do I need to do to prepare my home for sale?
Article #3: Why do I need an Real Estate agent and how do I select one?
Article #4: I have signed the paperwork, now what? -What to expect during the listing period
Article #5: A buyer wants to see my home -How can I maximize showing opportunities?
Article #6: I have received an offer – now what?
Article #7: My home is under contract – What are the next steps?
Article #8: What can I do to prepare for my move?
Article #9: What can I expect at the closing table?
Article #10:  What happens after my home is SOLD?

 

 

**********************************************

Home Style Title card

Sonya Leonard –Keller Williams Realty – Mooresville NC.  The Home Style Team provides free access to individualized home searches for all homes in Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman, Lake Norman and the entire Lake Norman Area.  Explore buyer and seller reports, community resources, new home communities, and be sure to sign up for instant alerts to help find your dream home.  Let Sonya help you INVEST in Real Estate and your Future! (704) 450-0588.

Homebuyer’s Checklist – What You Should Learn From Your Home Inspection | U.S. Inspect

Via Scoop.itStatesville Real Estate

Great Checklist for buyers to read prior to their home inspection.  Plan to be present and feel free to ask the inspectors as many questions as you have – After all, that’s what you hired them for. 
Via www.usinspect.com