Sep 14, 2021
An Offer Is In! Someone Wants to Buy Your House
NEXT STEPS IN THE HOME SALE PROCESS
You’re going about your daily routine and suddenly you get the call: An offer is in on your home! Hooray! Your agent will now present the offer to you, highlighting its merits and possible drawbacks. Offers usually arrive in a standardized format, which your agent will translate for you.
Make sure the offer aligns with your goals before accepting. The best offer is not always the highest priced. The first offer, however, is often the best offer; after all, you only need one offer to sell your home. Waiting for a “better” offer can sometimes work against you, since the longer your home is on the market, the lower the final selling price may be. This is certainly a nuanced process, and your agent is here to decipher the details.
SOME FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN AN OFFER:
- Closing date: How soon do you wish to vacate the house?
- Down payment/loan terms: Is this buyer both serious and qualified?
- Due diligence timeline and requests: How much work do you need to do?
- Closing cost assistance: Will this sale cost you more than anticipated if you agree to cover closing costs?
Your agent will help you make the best decision to meet your needs. If you’re fortunate enough to get multiple offers, your agent will help you evaluate each and decide which to accept. Accepting an offer is the next step to successfully selling your home.
ACCEPTED THE OFFER?
Once you’ve accepted the offer and signed a contract to sell your home, the buyer will go through inspections, appraisal, and loan approval. You as the seller are entering into a potentially less busy, but no less important, part of the process. Some agents refer to this as “the quiet period.” Like a duck who appears serene above the surface but whose legs are furiously churning beneath, there are many moving parts during this supposedly quiet period. Ask your agent about what’s happening; while there is a lot happening, you don’t need to be involved in most of it.
PREPARING TO MOVE
If you haven’t already, this should be the time when you find a new place to live. Your agent will help you stay informed and on task as closing approaches. Please remember to keep the terms of your contract confidential until after closing, since things can still change. Please do not talk about the contract on social media!
Now is the time to scheduling movers. If you’ve already vetted a moving company, you’ll be in good shape! We suggest scheduling movers up to 45 days before your closing date, since schedules can fill up fast and you will need to vacate the home by closing. At least one day before closing, make sure your house is empty and clean for the buyer’s final walk through. It may be worth the cost to hire a professional cleaner to clean after you’ve moved out, so that you aren’t having to separately transport your vacuum and cleaning supplies.
Be sure to tie up any loose ends.
- Pay any outstanding contractor or vendor fees before closing.
- Complete a change of address form with your mail carrier.
- Transfer utilities out of your name—internet, cable, phone, electricity, natural gas.
- Cancel any ongoing services—trash, lawn care, routine HVAC servicing.
Stay calm, stay in touch with your agent, and you’ll soon find yourself on the other side of the transaction!
Written by Tom Seabrook on September 10, 2021