Step 4: Offers Are In! What’s Next?
After reviewing all of the offers, you’ve chosen the one that best fits your requirements. Congratulations!
To formalize the offer, both parties will sign a contract that lays out all of the agreed-upon specifics. Once the contract is signed, the official escrow period begins, and the earnest money is placed in escrow. Read more about what happens during the first 24 hours after you go into contract.
If the buyer included contingencies in their offer, the next seven to ten days is what we call the “Buyer Investigation Period.” During this time, they may conduct inspections, a property appraisal, and other assessments to give them insights into the value and physical state of the home. Learn more about buyer’s inspections and appraisals.
Assuming the investigation period goes well, the contingencies will be removed. At this point, the buyer is committed and cannot back out of the contract without being penalized. Once all contingencies are removed, the remaining items to address are the confirmation of the buyer’s loan approval, remittance of the down payment, and funding of their loan (if they are financing the purchase). Learn more about the contingency removal process.
Now is the time to put the official closing date on your calendar! With property and appraisal contingencies lifted, you can be fairly certain the contract you have with the buyers will move ahead. Be sure to take note of the formal closing date, as this is the day the buyers will take ownership, and you must be completely moved out of the home, unless there is an agreed-upon rent back period. Read more about why it is critical to plan around the closing date.
Although you have already done some packing and sorting, it is time to begin the process in earnest. If you haven’t already done so, get estimates from movers and book one as soon as possible. As mentioned above, unless you have a rent back period, you will have to be out of your home no later than the day escrow closes. You should also consider how to make the move as stress-free as possible for your pets. Click here for more information on how to make the moving process simpler and how to put a plan in place for your pets.
A week or so before your move date, contact your various utilities and service providers to transfer or cancel service to coincide with your closing date. Assuming you are moving into another residence, you will also want to begin getting quotes for homeowner’s insurance. With everything that is going on, these are tasks that can easily get overlooked. Get additional details about canceling or transferring utilities as well as setting up homeowner’s insurance.
With all of the packing and moving, your home will probably need another deep cleaning. We advise scheduling this service in advance of your closing date, but after you have moved all of your belongings. You are welcome to clean the home yourself or use a cleaning service. Learn more about leaving your home in tip-top shape for the new owners.
The buyers have received their final mortgage approval, their loan documents are in, and we are formally cleared to close! A few days before escrow closes, you will go to the title office and sign the necessary documentation. The buyers will also sign their own set of paperwork, provide the balance of their down payment, and their loan will fund shortly before closing. Find out more about what happens during the final days before closing.
After you’ve moved and the home is clean, but just before escrow is closed, the buyers will do a final walk through. Their agent will take them through the home one last time to be sure it is in the same condition as it was during their property inspections. Discover what occurs during the final buyer walk through.
Now that escrow is closed and your home is sold, what happens next? Click here to find out!