Once you have an accepted offer, your home selling experience will change dramatically from the marketing stage to the transactional stage. Now, you’re no longer concerned with keeping the home in showing condition or staying on top of the market, you’re only focused on getting into contract and ultimately to closing.
The hardest part is over, at least for you. All the work you did getting your home ready for sale, evaluating the market, keeping up the showing condition, and dealing with buyers traipsing through your home at all hours of the day – all that’s over. And all the work your agent had to do in locating the right buyer — all that’s over too. You role is mostly reactive now. You’ll need to hire an attorney to draft your contract of sale, if you haven’t already done so, and you and your agent will have to make sure that the rest of the transaction goes smoothly.
But the burden in the home selling process actually shifts now to the buyer, who has the heavy lifting of obtaining title insurance, ordering an inspection, and most importantly laboring through the difficult mortgage process. For the most part, you will be sitting on the sidelines for most of that, mostly reacting to issues that the buyer might find on the inspection, the title, or on the contract.
This is only fair, after all. Up until you reached an accepted offer, the home selling process was difficult and stressful. You had to do all that work detailing, cleaning, and staging your home, then keeping it that way. You had to watch the market carefully, stress about competing homes that might drop their prices and make you uncompetitive, and hope that none of the new closings would undermine your price .
Meanwhile, of course, the buyer was having a grand old time running around the county looking at homes. Looking at homes is “shopping,” and it’s a lot of fun. It’s so much fun that people go to look at open houses even if they’re not in the market! But now the worm has turned, and while you’re sitting back letting your house become livable again like a college senior who already has locked a high-paying Wall Street job, your buyer is going through the unenviable task of filling out mortgage applications, chasing down old employers and forms, and stressing about rates going up. So relax and enjoy it.
Accordingly, we will focus below on some of the transactional issues that might come up between you and your buyer in getting into contract.