When you have a signed contract with the buyer to sell your home, you may feel like you can breathe a sigh of relief. But you as seller still have things to do; as a seller you have to cooperate with the buyer, and the buyer's agent to fulfill the commitments made in the contract. In other words, before you can relax completely, you must comply with the terms of the contract prior to getting to the closing table.
While the burden is on the buyer to complete with the financing term for the purchase of your house and obtain homeowners insurance, there are some contingencies the contract that will have to be completed by the seller, especially if you are living at home. Most transactions include an inspection of the house, so you need to make your house available to the inspector and then negotiate with buyers especially if there are some problems to be repaired in your home. In addition to home inspection, some contracts and some lenders require a termite inspection and radon inspection. In each case, you or your real estate agent or buyer's agent will have to make the house available for inspection.
Another important step before closing is home Appraisal. If the assessment value of your home is higher than the selling price, your home buyers can relax and say they have bought a house below market value. Once the contract has been signed, the seller can not renegotiate for higher price. However, if the assessment is below the agreed price, then the buyer's lender will limit the amount of the loan to the lower value. The buyer may have to make up the difference to comply with the contract. Your real estate agent can advise you on the best way to handle this situation, but in any case you and the buyer are required to comply by the terms of the contract. Before going to the closing table, you and your real estate agent should review the contract and make sure it has fulfilled all the promises that have been made in the contract and all repairs or improvements are completed.
Buyers and sellers often negotiate the closing date that is mutually agreeable. If you have sold your home and are not ready to move out, sometimes you can negotiate a rent from your buyer allowing you to stay at home after the closing date, be sure to do this in writing. Moreover, some Sellers allow buyers to move before the closing date. In any case, it is essential to have a written agreement about who is responsible if something happens to the house or its contents during the transition period.Generally, you are restricted to rent back your home for a maximum period of 60 days, because otherwise, the lender will see this as an investment property.
The decision on who selects the closing attorney will vary from market to market. In many places, the buyer chooses a lawyer, but in others the seller chooses it. The lawyer doing the closing does not represent the buyer or seller, instead, he/she represents the Lender. In a case that no mortgage is taking out by the Buyer and the Buyer is paying cash, then the Lawyer is representing the Buyer. The buyer will provide funds to buy your home and the lawyer will review the sales and will determine all the payments due bases on the sales contract. The title of the property is transferred to the buyers name and the Lawyer will proceeds to register the property in the name of the new owner.
At the time of closing the appropriate adjustment related to property taxes are done, if the seller was paying taxes through an escrow account, and taxes have already been paid for the remianing of the year, then the seller will receive a credit for the amount paid in advance. The buyer will usually have to pay property tax in advance. Once the closing documents are signed and the keys of the house is transferred, you can move into your new home.
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Real Estate Broker serving the Atlanta Metro Area, for over 12 years. If you are planning to buy or sell your home in Atlanta, call Telmo Bermeo at 770-309-6417
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