Broadly speaking, there are two main stages in a home sale. The first stage involves marketing, courting buyers, and then getting an offer. The second stage involves the many and varied things that come after you receive and then accept an offer. Really, it’s after you accept an offer, that the bulk of the work begins, much of it reassuring the buyer that nothing is wrong with your house and getting the financing in order. So here are the major aspects of what Baltimore sellers should expect after accepting an offer.
Typically, one of the first things that happen after accepting an offer in Baltimore is the inspection. Although an inspection isn’t always required, it is nevertheless strongly recommended for buyers so they can find out the true condition of your property. And if the inspection does turn up any issues, you will likely have to negotiate further with the buyer.
Most of the time, the buyer or her agent will hire the inspector and pay for the inspection. The whole process, from initiation to completion, can take several days. While you wait, it’s advisable to go over your home with a fine-toothed comb and then rectify any problems you find before the buyer’s inspection. Many real estate pros advise having your own inspection done prior to this so that the buyer’s inspection doesn’t turn up any surprises.
Heres what to expect if the inspection reveals any problems. Buyers “may ask you to make the repairs as part of the contract. Or they may ask for a reduction in purchase price because they will have to make the repairs later. If they decide they don’t want to deal with the problems at all, they may even take advantage of the inspection contingency and back out of the contract.”
These negotiations can be tricky and require skill and experience to avert the last possibility. Don’t hesitate to use your real estate agent to achieve the best outcome. To discover more, call 443-928-4550.
The next major step after accepting an offer is usually the appraisal. The buyer’s lender will require an appraisal for the financing to go through and the contract to be completed. The idea is to make sure the appraised value is at least equal to the purchase price because a mortgage lender won’t lend more than the property is worth, that is, above fair market value. Problems arise, then, when the appraised value falls short of the purchase price in the accepted offer.
In that case, the buyer may negotiate with you for a lower price or request repairs and upgrades that will increase the property’s value. If the sales agreement contains an appraisal contingency (which is often the case), the buyer may just back out of the deal entirely – without suffering any consequences.
Sellers do have the option to fight a low appraisal and try to get the numbers up to where they should be. Your local agent can advise you on how to proceed here. 443-928-4550
The Financing Wait
If the inspection and appraisal go off without any problems, then you’ll move to the next usual step after accepting an offer in Baltimore. And this step, on your part as the seller, mostly involves waiting. Just because you’ve received and accepted an offer, that doesn’t mean the sale is a done deal and that you will in fact close. The buyer still has to secure financing.
If the buyer has been pre-approved for a mortgage, then it’s just a matter of waiting for the loan to be processed. Without pre-approval, though, the buyer may not get the needed mortgage loan. If that happens, then either or both of you can fall back on the financing contingency. “If the buyer fails to get financing during this window, you can back out of the deal using the financing contingency.” Buyers “can also use this contingency if they are unable to get a satisfactory loan.”
Closing and Paperwork
Finally, if all the preceding goes well, the Baltimore home sale process reaches the final stage after accepting an offer – closing. Although you may be ready to breathe a sigh of relief at this point, you still have to get through a mountain of paperwork and legal documents. But the good news, according to real estate experts, “is that you may not need to attend the actual closing and can often pre-sign all of the necessary documents to transfer ownership of your home.”
The typical documents to be produced and signed at the closing include:
- HUD-1 Settlement Statement
- Certificate of title
- Loan payoff (if you have a mortgage)
- Bill of sale
- Statement of closing costs
- Statement of information
Closing is complete when:
- You and the buyer have signed all the requisite documents;
- The balance of your mortgage is paid off (usually by the sale proceeds); and
- All the parties involved in closing (such as the real estate attorney and title company) have been paid.
Upon completion of all these tasks, your property is transferred to the buyer.
The Value of an Agent
As you can see, then, a lot happens after accepting an offer in Baltimore, both before and during closing. Perhaps the best way to ensure the process goes smoothly and that you navigate it successfully is to work closely with a qualified local real estate agent. Our agents can get you from accepted offer to and through closing. Find out how. Contact us today! 443-928-4550