Stage 6:  Get it from Contract to Close

You’ve got an accepted contract on your home, but it’s not time to celebrate yet!  This final, post-contract stage is the most tenuous of all!  Any and all contingencies included in the contract must be resolved prior to closing.  And each contingency is an opportunity to cancel or re-negotiate the contract.  Your agent and the buyer’s agent need to work together with each other, the lender, the appraiser, and the attorneys for both sides to keep the transaction moving forward during this last 45 – 60 days of the journey.

Attorney Review: Attorneys play a prominent part in this final stage of the home selling process.  The first five business days after the contract is executed is known as the attorney-review period.  During this time, both your attorney and the buyer’s attorney will review and clarify elements of the contract.  Your attorney will also coordinate the closing including obtaining the the deed, arranging a title search and title insurance, and drawing up the settlement documents prior to the closing date.

Inspections:   The standard contract also includes a 5-day home inspection contingency which allows the buyer to have a licensed home inspector do a walk through of your home and produce a report outlining issues large and small discovered during his inspection.  Depending on the content of the report, the inspection contingency is an opportunity for the buyer to walk away from the deal or negotiate credits or repairs.  It’s important to keep a cool head during this time and work toward finding a win-win solution to resolving any inspection issues.

Clear to Close:    If you accepted an offer contingent on financing, the mortgage contingency will likely be the last contingency to be lifted – often just a week or before the closing date.  When the lender has completed all of the necessary underwriting and cleared the way for funding, a clear-to-close notice will go out and your attorney will set up a closing time and date.

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