Whatever your reasons are for selling your home, understanding the complex settlement process takes careful planning and a good broker to walk you through it. The first step in the process involves a consultation with your real estate broker regarding what you can do to make your home more sellable. The items generally include decluttering the home, possible painting and freshening up landscaping and most often a deep cleaning. Once these items have been addressed, we’ll arrange to have your home professionally photographed and then listed on the MLS and all 3rd party sites to market your home as effectively as possible.
Once on market, we’ll start to receive offers. Reviewing the buyer’s purchase offer or offers is critical in making the right decision for the seller. It’s not always the price that wins the race! Sometimes terms might be more applicable to a seller’s needs, and all of these things are discussed prior to drafting a seller counter offer back to the potential buyer or buyers. Keep in mind that occasionally a buyer makes such a strong offer, there is no need to counter the offer. In this specific circumstance, we would simply accept the offer presented.
If we do find ourselves in a counter offer situation, understand this process may take several days to reach a conclusion. It’s all very standard for the selling process. Once we have come to an agreement on price and terms with a potential buyer, we then move onto opening escrow. Escrow is a French based word meaning discovery. So, opening escrow is really the first step in the buyer’s discovery process. Once escrow is opened, and the buyer’s earnest money is deposited, which is typically 3% of the purchase price, the escrow company will draft escrow instructions that are taken from the purchase agreement and related counter offers.
This now begins the contingency period. Contingencies are milestones that occur during the escrow period that keep the deal progressing. The main three are the inspection contingency, the appraisal contingency, and the loan contingency. During this time, the buyer works to satisfy their concerns regarding the physical condition of the home, the appraised value of the home, and lastly, qualifying for the buyer’s mortgage. Each of these three main contingencies is removed physically. In other words, the buyer will submit a signed document removing the specific contingency, making the deal more and more firm with each removal.
During the inspection contingency time frame, the seller will provide the buyer all disclosures. These disclosures are all material facts the seller knows about the property and they should be very carefully completed. These disclosures are used by the buyer to determine the condition of the home, and the seller would be liable for any misrepresentations. So, fill them out with care!!
When all conditions of the purchase agreement have been satisfied, the seller will execute the required closing documents and title will be transferred at the county recorder’s office. Once the title has been recorded, the transaction is complete. Of course we’re with you every step of the way to answer any and all questions you may have!