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 buy a house, it may be only a few weeks before your closing date arrives. At this point, you and the home seller will finalize your transaction. And if everything goes according to plan, you'll own a new home.
Getting to closing day, however, sometimes can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help ensure you can enjoy a quick, seamless home closing.
Now, let's take a look at three steps to close on a home.
1. Complete Your Mortgage Application
A mortgage is a must-have for a homebuyer to close on a residence. Fortunately, it often can be simple to obtain a mortgage that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Consult with several local banks and credit unions. By doing so, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to your finances.
After you complete a mortgage application, a bank or credit union can provide you with mortgage options. Then, you can make an informed decision about which mortgage suits you perfectly.
2. Perform a Home Inspection and Appraisal
A home inspection is paramount, as this assessment will enable you to identify any underlying home problems and address them before closing day arrives.
During a home inspection, a property expert will assess your residence both inside and out. This expert also will provide an inspection report that details his or her findings.
Review the results of a home inspection report closely – you'll be glad you did. If you assess a home inspection report, you can review a home inspector's findings and determine whether you still want to purchase a house.
If you accept the inspection results and decide to move forward with a home purchase, an appraisal may follow.
Like a home inspection, an appraisal requires a property expert to visit your home. This expert will evaluate your home's interior and exterior, as well as comparable houses in your city or town. Following a home appraisal, you will receive a property valuation.
Oftentimes, a property valuation may match or exceed the price that you intend to pay for a house. If it does not, there may be instances in which you can still walk away from a home sale or ask the seller to lower a house's asking price.
3. Buy Home Insurance
Home insurance safeguards your residence and personal belongings against loss, damage or destruction. As such, it is essential to purchase home insurance before you close on a house. Because with home insurance in place, you'll be good to go to protect your house and personal belongings against myriad disasters.
The closing process can be long and complicated. But if you work with a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support leading up to closing day. In fact, this housing market professional is happy to provide tips to ensure you can streamline the closing process.
Get ready for closing day – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can speed up the process of acquiring your dream house.