A lot happens between a contract and closing
Dear Joan: We finally have our house under contract and the buyers have delivered the earnest money to the title company. I am so excited that we are going to finally move. Do I have much else to worry about? The buyers are a nice couple who are locals who own their own business. They are very nice and seem as excited as I am about buying our home. My Realtor says we have only begun the process and it is much too soon to start celebrating. I am not sure if she is a worrier or if I am very naive. What problems or issues should I be anticipating? Our Realtor said she will take care of everything and keep us informed, but she has not said what the problems can be. Any clues?
Dear Excited: Your most critical decision in your sale process was made when you listed your home. Choosing a great Realtor is the most important factor in having a successful sale accomplished. Did you know there are more than 30 different dates and contingencies in your contract that need to be met and satisfied to have your contract make it to the closing table?
Unless you have a very unusual property, most of those deadlines that the sellers have to meet, can usually be met pretty easily when you get an acceptable offer. In fact, your Realtor probably has already had you fill out the disclosures and gather the information you need for the buyer at the time of listing your home. It is also your Realtor’s job to monitor the buyer’s side of deadlines. The buyer’s dates are very important and in order to have them all met and satisfied, it can take prodding and expert negotiations to make them go smoothly.
Presuming you have a great Realtor, all of the dates and requirements written into your sales contract should be orderly and lead to a successful closing. This should have been done when your Realtor was helping you negotiate an acceptable contract with realistic dates. Then, your Realtor’s knowledge and skills will get you through the three biggest potential pitfalls.
The first is the inspection objection that will be sent to you once the buyers have had a professional inspector come through your home. The buyer may write up items that may take thousands of dollars to repair or replace. And then, your Realtor will remind the buyer’s agent that the intent of the inspection is to discover any unknown health and safety issues, not to cosmetically make it a new home. Good negotiating skills are critical at this juncture.
The appraisal also can be an interesting phase that can be made easier by a knowledgeable Realtor for many diverse reasons. Finally, there is getting the financing for the buyer and the home approved. In your case, I hope your Realtor asked for a pre-approval letter since you said your buyer was self-employed. Your Realtor can help stay on top of the progress of the loan approval so that there will not be surprises later in the process. It usually comes down to communication. Your broker needs to be skilled in keeping all the parties informed and on time with their dates and be able to rise to the occasion to solve problems as they surface. When your Realtor handles all of these issues, it will not be long before you will be packing. Best of luck to you.
Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 and http://www.SkiAndTeeHomes.com.
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