Selling Cheklist

Selling a Home

7 Things To Do After Accepting An Offer

When you receive an offer on your house, it is imperative that you review it carefully.  Be sure to go over your offer with your agent to make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions. Here is a list if things you can expect to have happen and plan for the upcoming sale of your house.

After Accepting an Offer
1. Sign the Purchase Agreement
2. Address Due Diligence Repairs
3. Start Packing Your Things
4. Get Your Documents Together
5. Hire a Cleaning Crew
6. Do a Final Walkthrough
7. Shut Off the Utilities

Step 1. Sign The Purchase Agreement

After you formally accept the buyer’s offer, it’s time to sign the purchase agreement. This is also the time you can counter the offer with your own offer back to the buyer, but any counter offer you make will cancel the original offer the buyer initially made to you.  If you counter the buyer will either accept your purchase agreement, counter again, or walk away.

This is a document that the buyer and seller both sign, which outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. This document legally binds the buyer to the transaction, assuming the terms and conditions are met. Before signing this document, it’s important to review it with your Realtor to make sure it’s accurate.

Step 2. Address Due Diligence Repairs

It’s common for a buyer to only agree to purchase your home after certain contingencies are met or repairs made. For example, you might agree to fix or replace the air conditioner before you officially close on the house, you must make these repairs, which are outlined in the purchase agreement. If you don’t make the agreed-upon repairs, the buyer has legal grounds to walk away from the deal.

Step 3. Start Packing Your Things

If you’re still living in the home, now is the time to start packing your belongings. The closing process generally takes anywhere from 30 to 50 days, so you have a good amount of time to pack and organize before you need to be out of the house. In addition, you and the buyer might agree to a specific move-out date depending on your respective residential situations. However, it’s usually better to start packing sooner than later so you can prepare for closing.

Step 4. Prepare For Closing: Get Your Documents Together

When you attend the closing, you’ll probably be asked to bring some house-related documentation in addition to the keys. Here are some of the documents you should be prepared with:

  • Documentation confirming repairs were made
  • Garage door openers and codes
  • Cashiers check if you are paying for a portion of the buyer’s closing costs
  • Utility bills
  • Property tax documents
  • Warranties for home appliances
  • Instructions for operating security systems

Step 5. Hire A Cleaning Crew

After all your belongings are boxed up and out of the house, you might consider hiring a professional cleaning crew before the new owners move in. In the purchase agreement, sellers are generally required to make the home “broom clean” before officially vacating. That means sweeping and mopping floors, cleaning out the refrigerator, dusting vents and ceiling fans and vacuuming tight corners and under appliances.

Step 6. Have A Final Walk-Through

It’s customary for buyers to do a final walk-through of the property within a business day prior to the closing date. It allows them to confirm that all promised repairs were made and that the house is in the same condition it was in when they agreed to purchase it. The buyer can test appliances and home systems, open and close all doors, etc. As the seller, you don’t need to be present for the final walk-through but know that it’s something that the buyer will usually do.

Step 7. Shut Off The Utilities

The day after closing, and after you have fully moved out, you should shut off the utilities, Wi-Fi and cancel any subscriptions. This is especially important if the home will sit empty for a while before the new owner moves in. Contact your gas, water, electrical and cable/internet companies and terminate your service, or move the service to your new place (if the municipality serves the area). The new homeowner is responsible for setting up their own utilities when they move in.

Summarizing The Seller's Checklist

Once you accept the offer from the buyer things can move quite fast. Always keep a close communication with your Real Estate Agent so you both know what’s happening next to keep things moving smoothly for yourself and the buyer.

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