Once you and the buyer have “signed on the dotted line,” there are a few more steps leading to the closing. Here’s a reminder of what will be happening.
- Inspection Period. During this time, the buyer and/or hired inspectors will be making appointments to inspect the home. It is best if you are not present during the home inspection. Some inspectors will not enter the home if there are unaccompanied minors present. Please make sure your pets are not loose and that the inspector has access to attics, garages, etc. If the buyer finds deficiencies, they will put in writing which items they ask that you repair. This process is outlined in the purchase agreement.
- Appraisal. If an appraisal is required, it will be ordered typically after the inspection period. An appointment will be set for the appraiser. You may be present if you wish, during the appraisal, but you may choose to be absent as well. Again, please have your pets secured. Depending upon the Buyer’s type of mortgage, the appraiser may need to access the attic for a “head and shoulders” inspection. Please clear debris from attic access and provide a ladder to access to the opening to the attic.
- Another Look. Most excited buyers want to bring friends or family through to look at the house or want to come through and measure for curtains or appliances. Please let them come back at least once. Your agent should try to police too may requests!
- Termite Inspection. In our market, it is a good idea to have the property inspected for termites and other wood destroying insects. Some mortgage underwriter may require this type of inspection. It is customary for this inspection to be addressed within the inspection period or done close to the closing date. Your agent will help you determine the timeline of your inspections, depending upon your specific purchase agreement.
- Title Work. If your property is located in Iowa, please locate your abstract and provide it to your agent or escrow company. During the escrow period, your abstract will be brought down to date and a title opinion prepared and /or title insurance will be ordered to determine if any title defects exists, such as judgments or liens. If title defects exist, these defects will need to be remedied prior to closing. Your escrow and real estate agent will assist you in clearing these defects, if necessary.
- Deed Packet. The title company will be preparing the final group of papers, the deed packet, for the seller’s signing. We typically pre-sign this before the closing date. This way, the seller does not need to attend the actual closing with the buyer.
- Utilities. Call all the utility companies and let them know you are selling your house. Tell them the buyer will be calling to put the utilities in their name effective on the closing date or other date if so negotiated. Please DO NOT let them turn OFF the water, gas or electricity