Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should! However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.
Contingencies on the purchase contract
A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.
There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.
The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.
Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.
This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.
The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.
If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.
Walkthrough and closing
Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.
Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.
While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.
After you receive an offer to purchase your residence, determining the best course of action often can be difficult. Because if you make the wrong decision, you risk missing out on an opportunity to sell your house and maximize its value.
Ultimately, it may prove to be beneficial for a home seller to submit a counter-offer. There are many reasons why a seller may choose to provide a counter-proposal, and these include:
1. A homebuyer's initial offer to purchase fails to match your expectations.
Although a homebuyer's initial offer to purchase your residence fell below your expectations, you can always submit a counter-offer to find out if a buyer is negotiable. That way, you may be able to work with a buyer to find a common price that is suitable for all parties.
When it comes to selling a house, there is no harm in submitting a counter-offer. Remember, the worst response a home seller will receive to a counter-proposal is a simple "No." And even in the worst-case scenario, a seller can move forward with the property selling journey and await an offer to purchase that matches his or her expectations.
2. You are flexible about the price of your house.
As a home seller, you probably realize that what you originally paid for your house is unlikely to match your residence's current value. But even if you set a competitive initial asking price for your home, you may still want to negotiate a counter-offer if a buyer's initial proposal falls short.
The housing market constantly fluctuates, and a sector that favors sellers today may favor buyers tomorrow. Thus, if you are flexible about the price of your house, you can always negotiate a price with a buyer that accounts for the present state of the real estate sector.
3. You want to get the best-possible price for your residence.
The goal of the home selling journey is to obtain the best price for your home, regardless of the real estate market's conditions. Therefore, rather than accept or reject an offer to purchase, it may be beneficial to see if you can receive a better proposal from a buyer.
As you move along the home selling journey and review an offer to purchase, you should not hesitate to collaborate with a real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of guidance throughout the home selling journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will help you list your residence and promote it to prospective buyers. He or she will set up home showings and open house events and keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your residence. Then, when you receive an offer to purchase, you and your real estate agent can work together to determine how to proceed.
Hire a real estate agent – you'll be glad you did. By employing a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to fully analyze an offer to purchase your residence.