8 STEPS TO SELLING YOUR HOME
Step Seven - Preparing to Close
Now that you have accepted an offer on your home it's time to prepare for closing. Your agent will lead and guide you through each step, but it's important that you make yourself as available as possible. There will be time deadlines for each step and it's important to meet them if the sale of the house is to go through.
The Inspection - Generally the first step is for the buyer to have the house inspected for any problems. Once they receive the results they can choose to
- Ask you to repair the problems found by the inspector
- Choose to repair the problems themselves
- Walk away from the deal
Negotiations will open up again at this point. If you are asked to make repairs you can agree to all, some, or none of the requests. Choosing not to make any repairs could result in the buyer walking away from the deal and ignoring repairs marked as a safety concern can cause problems later. Your agent will go over the inspection report with you and help you come up with a decision that makes everyone happy.
If you decide to make repairs on your home you must hire a bonded and certified professional, you cannot make them yourself. The buyer will expect to have receipts to prove the repairs were made.
The Appraisal - Once the terms of the inspection have been worked out the buyer's lender will have the home appraised to be sure it's worth the amount they'll be lending. If the appraiser finds any safety concerns that were not taken care after the inspection he can halt the proceedings until they're addressed. This is why taking care of safety issues brought up at inspection is so important.
If the home is appraised for less than the agreed upon purchase price there are a few steps you can take.
- Your agent can fight the results by gathering info on similar homes in the area which sold for a higher amount, but this doesn't work very often.
- You can terminate the deal, but keep in mind this problem will most likely come up again with the next buyer.
- The buyer can agree to pay the excess balance in cash.
- You can agree to lower the price to the appraised value.
These are the two major events that will happen before the closing date. Once they're worked out you won't have too much to do other than be available. It isn't uncommon for forms to be misplaced, or for random signatures to be needed, so it's important that your agent be able to reach you for anything they may need. Chasing someone down while trying to get a home sale to close isn't fun for anyone, and missing a deadline can result in the termination of the contract.