Give yourself a high five! You, the amazing Home Seller, have accepted an offer! If you’ve never done this, or even if you’ve sold a home ten times before, you most likely have questions on what the next part of the process will entail. Let’s review, in an incredibly broad sense, what will be expected of you in the next days of the closing process for this property that you are selling. As always, please take this information as a brief overview, and definitely talk with your real estate agent about the specific details of your contract to make sure you understand everything well.
So, after the negotiations of a contract have been done with the buyers’ and sellers’ real estate agents and the offer has officially been signed by both parties, there are a few steps that will take place. First, a home inspection will be completed by a reputable home inspector. After the home inspection is received, the buyers’ and sellers’ agents will work to negotiate home repairs upon which each party agrees. When that is done, if you are not on city water, a well and septic test will need to be completed. Depending on what is agreed upon by the buyers and seller and the local city/state rules there usually is a well flow test, water quality test and a septic adequacy test. During this process an engineer will come out and test both the well & the septic system and write a report on it that way the new buyer knows what they are buying. This is very important for everyone involved and in some cases is required by the city/municipality in order for the property to transfer. After this passes and the appraisal comes back, the seller makes the agreed upon repairs and everyone moves forward! Next in the process is the buyers finalizing their lending (called underwriting), then the home appraisal being scheduled which will ensure your home is valued at the price agreed upon to sell, and then an as-built survey will be conducted to make sure the home and outbuildings are correctly placed on your lot in relation to what the state has them marked as. After this is done, any encumbrances will need to be removed. What are these, you may ask? An encumbrance is a claim against a property by a party that is not the owner; the most common type would be mortgages, easements, and property tax liens. Next on the list is to conduct a title search, which confirms that the seller is the rightful owner and makes sure there are no other claims on the property. Finally, the title office will schedule a time for closing on the property, where you will sign all the official paperwork to transfer ownership from the seller to the buyer. The title office will then obtain funds from closing to give to you as the seller or to pay off the existing mortgage. Once the transaction is officially recorded with the state recorder’s office, your property is sold!
So, let’s review again:
- Conduct home inspection
- Negotiate home repairs
- Well and septic test and inspection (if necessary)
- Underwriting, appraisal & as-built survey
- Remove encumbrances
- Conduct title search
- Closing on the property (signing documents)
- Obtaining funds from closing
Doable, right? Of course! Especially with an RMG Real Estate agent there to assist you in every step of the process. Each agent has a heart for working with sellers to make sure they’re comfortable with the next piece of the home selling process. If you ever have any questions at all, do not hesitate to ask! Time to celebrate your successful sale and see what the future holds for you in regards to real estate ownership!