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You Accepted the Buyer's Offer - What's Next?

A home seller's guide that explains the steps that happen between signing a contract and closing a real estate transaction.

Now that you accepted the buyer’s offer, what comes next? Once a buyer and seller sign a contract, a timeline begins with completing a number of steps and fulfilling some requirements before heading to the closing table to finish the sale. So, what exactly happens between contract and closing?

On to the Home Inspection

After you have accepted an offer on your North Carolina home, the buyers will schedule an appointment for the home inspection. The timeline for completing the inspection depends on the terms of your contract. Once the inspection is completed, the seller may be asked to perform a number of repairs on the property. The buyer may also be able to walk away from the deal if they are unhappy with the results of the property inspection or if the seller is unwilling to make requested repairs.

Testing for Termites

In some parts of the country, a termite inspection must be also performed. In North Carolina, the results of this inspection is called a Wood Destroying Insect Report. If this inspection comes back showing the presence of wood destroying insects at the moment or in the past, the buyer will have to decide how they wish to proceed. This could include requesting repairs or treatment and depending on the way the contract was written, buyers may be able to back out of the sale.

Home Appraisal

If the sale of your North Carolina home makes it past the inspections to the satisfaction of both the buyers and sellers, the next step is the home appraisal. The buyer orders the appraisal through their lender and once again, the contract states a timeline and deadlines for the completion of the appraisal. To head off any issues that could derail your sale, the listing agent should be present at the time of the appraisal to defend the sale price with evidence of comparable home sales and to point out any remodeling or upgrades to the property that the appraiser may miss.

Performing a Title Search

At this point in the real estate transaction, you have cleared a lot of hurdles and moved much closer to the closing table. Next, a title search is performed to check for any liens on the property or unpaid taxes. If a lien is discovered during this process, it is unlikely your sale will close until you take care of that debt because a buyer will expect liens to be paid to allow for a transfer of clear title.

Packing and Transferring

Now, you are in the home stretch. It’s time to start packing for the move and contacting utilities to transfer service out of your name on the day of your closing. When packing, remember not to take any attached items (e.g. light fixtures, window treatments, drapes, blinds, attached shelving, attached mirrors, drapery rods, etc.) or any items you agreed to transfer to the buyer in your purchase agreement. Also, schedule a final reading of your water meter.

After the above steps are completed, and all parties are notified that the buyer is clear to close, it’s on to the closing table where you complete your North Carolina home sale. These are the basic steps of what happens once you accept an offer from a buyer. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss selling your home in Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill, please do not hesitate to contact us at Red Door Company.