The Home Selling Process, What to Expect
There are a Lot of Moving Parts to Selling Your DFW Area Home
So you've read through the Home Sellers Preparation Guide and you've selected a Realtor, determined a fair market price, and have staged your home. In fact, your home's curb appeal was so appealing, you've received your first offer – now what?
The following gives you a step-by-step explanation of the Home Selling Process and what you can expect:
Receiving an Offer
Once a buyer decides they would like to buy your house, an offer will be presented. Review the entire offer taking note of what is being presented, so you can accept, counter or reject the offer outright. Once you accept and execute your offer, changing anything will take the consent of the other party.
Your offer, though not limited to this list, should include the following:
- A legal description of the property
- The offering price
- The down payment
- Financing arrangements
- A list of fees and who will pay them
- Amount of the deposit
- Inspection rights and possible repair inclusions
- The method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
- A list of possible personal property items, appliances, and furnishings the buyer wants to stay with the home
- Special Seller Exclusions, the seller wants to retain that would otherwise convey to the buyer
- The settlement date
- The all-important lender pre-approval letter - This letter can either validate the quality of your offer or substantially undermine it.
- Any relevant contingencies and Addendum(s)
Remember with real estate, time is of the essence, and responding too slowly can cause a buyer to pull their offer. If you have any questions or concerns, they need to be discussed with your agent as quickly as possible. Agents will be working to make sure that the buyers' financial qualifications are legitimate before recommending acceptance of your offer and reviewing said written offer to ensure it is free from mistakes, that could invalidate said contract should a dispute arise.
Negotiating an Offer on Your Home
Most offers to purchase your house will require some level of negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. It is critical that you be well versed on the legalities of the real estate contract used in your area. In addition to legal issues, you will need to understand contract basics, including what each contract clause means to you and your buyer, what you will net from the sale of your home, and what areas in the contract lend themselves easiest to negotiation.
Some of the things that you may have to negotiate on are:
- The offer price
- Amount of Earnest Money to bind the contract
- Financing considerations and general strength of the offer
- 3rd Party Financing Condition Addendum, type of loan, length of time to qualify considerations and what that ultimately means to a seller
- Lender quality considerations the seller needs to be made aware of, and why that matters.
- Closing costs requests
- Noted repairs added to original offer and how to respond
- Appliances and fixtures buyer wants to include in the offer
- Actual Seller Move-out date
- Seller's temporary leaseback considerations for up to 60 days from the closing date, depending upon the agreement of the parties.
To really gain some insight into why potential buyers are pursuing the purchase of your house and how they might proceed in the negotiations, it is important to know as much about the buyer as possible, especially their motivation for buying. Once both parties have reached a point where there is agreement, you must still be reasonably certain that you have a legally binding contract of substance, that can close escrow.
It is the agent's duty, to provide experienced advice about any offer received, it's potential hazards as well as strengths and merits. He or she will review the written offer with you to make sure that you thoroughly understand what the buyers are offering and what they are asking for in return. It is your Realtor's® primary responsibility to protect your best interests as your listing agent, throughout the escrow process.
After You Sign Your Contract
Once you have accepted an offer to sell your house you will need to make a list of all the things you must do, and a list of all the things the buyer must do, in order to proceed successfully to closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected and repaired. Depending on the specifics reached during the negotiations, you may pay for all, some, or none of these items. If there are problems with the property the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. Depending on the contract, you or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations, or close.
Your agent can save you time and money by assisting and even coordinating all the necessary items that must be done to finalize the sale. Your agent will be directly involved and keep you informed as to the results of each action and what effect, if any, it will have on the sale of the property. He or she will also help you coordinate any actions you must take to keep the sale moving forward. There are some sales that go smoothly and some that require a lot of work to get to the closing table. Either way, your agent will prove to be a valuable resource for you.
- Allowing inspections, and buyer access during the buyer's option period
- Negotiating the Buyer's Option Period Repair Request, offering options, cash in lieu of repairs, etc.
- Issues found by buyer's inspector, how to get professional opinions on suspected deficiencies
- Dealing with unknown storm-related damage, namely roof issues with insurance providers
- How to get receipts, and pay ahead if work can't be completed prior to closing
- Obtaining critical HOA for permits when necessary for repairs, like roof and fence and landscaping
- How to prepare for the "appraiser's visit with receipts for recent improvements, and other contracts in support of value, if there were multiple offers
- Strategies as to how to deal with a low appraisal, mistakes by appraisers. Since CFPB was created in 2009, Appraisals have been a mess.
- How to keep scheduled closing on time to prevent a last minute panic
A few days before the closing you will want to contact whichever entity that is closing the transaction and make sure that all of the necessary forms and documents have been prepared and are going to be available to sign on the appropriate date. It would be a shame to get this close to selling and have the deal fall through because of a document not being at the right place at the right time. You should also begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so.
Your agent can save you time and money by making sure that all of the necessary documentation is prepared for closing. They will also make sure that all parties have done what they need to do so that the closing can proceed at the date and time planned.
You will need to schedule with all your utility providers a shut-off date.
This is where ownership is legally transferred to the buyer. As the seller you will need to be prepared to give over any necessary documentation regarding the property and, depending on the arrangements made during negotiations, you may be required to have done something specific in order to close. Be sure and read all the documents. Mistakes are more common than you might think.
Your agent can save you time and money by being present during the closing to help explain the process and forms to you and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, they mediate any last minute issues that may arise. Something always seems to come up!
Congratulations on the successful sale of your home! Hopefully, everything went smoothly and you will be vacating your house in the time frame that you had anticipated. You should make a list of all the items you will need to complete ahead of turning your former property over to the new owners.
- Disconnecting utilities: Gas, Electric, City, Phone, Internet, Alarm.
- Agreed upon items that need to be conveyed to the buyers.
- Landscaping contacts
- Pool Service Contacts
- Garbage Pickup day
The professional team at Askins Realty Group, McKinney, TX, will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding selling your DFW area home. Find out how you can save thousands with our Market Leading Low Cost to 100% Commission FREE Move-up. Please email or call 972.529.2394 (Local Office)
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