The Best Ways To Close Your Deal
There is no doubt that finding a buyer is one of the biggest challenges in selling a house. But making it to the closing table unscathed – that takes real effort! The good news for you, as the seller, is that it’s absolutely possible to successfully arrive at closing without being saddled by astronomical commissions.
Here’s how you do it:
Make sure your buyer is pre-qualified.
It’s appropriate to request the name and contact information of their lender to verify that they can complete the lending process in a reasonable amount of time. Tell the lender how much the buyer has agreed to pay, so they can tell you if the buyer has enough borrowing power to make good on the contract.
Get it in writing.
While an attorney might be able to help with this, they often forget to include things like who pays for the closing fee and whether or not a home warranty will be included in the sale. A Realtor, however, will probably want a hefty percentage of the sales price to assist in your transaction (boo!). Rocket Realty saw this as a big gap for FSBOs, so we offer a simple low rate to prepare your contracts, provide and execute state-required forms, and deliver all necessary documents to your title company. While this process is relatively simple, getting your agreement properly documented will help prevent chaos and delays later on.
Collect the earnest money.
Buyers will submit their offer “in earnest” by providing a sum of money to be held by the seller until closing. At closing, the earnest money is applied to the purchase price. I recommend that you allow the title company to hold the earnest money. There are many rules and regulations about EM, and you don’t want to violate them. A title company can hold the money in the proper way and keep you on the right side of the law.
Conduct the inspection.
Your buyer should have requested an opportunity to have the property inspected by an expert. As the seller, you’ll need to make sure the inspector has easy access to the attic, crawl space, and major systems (electric panel, furnace, water heater, etc). You will also need to vacate the property for this part of the process. The inspection usually takes several hours, and buyers often attend the inspection to learn about any issues and understand some of the systems/challenges of the home. Once the inspection is complete, the buyers may request some repairs. This request is done on a special form, which is included in the service of contract work done by Rocket Realty.
Deliver clear title.
Make sure you order title work immediately upon an accepted offer. Better yet, have your title company do a title search before you find a buyer. Clearing up any liens or confusions (if you have a common name like Bill Smith, this is likely to be an issue) before you involve a buyer is best. Either way, your buyer won’t want a clouded title, so get this taken care of as soon as possible.
Survive the appraisal.
Appraisals these days have been all over the place. Lack of decent comparable properties and frightened appraisers has not been a good mix for sellers. If the lender’s appraisal of your house comes in below the purchase price, you may have to lower the contract amount to get the lender to move forward. If you can’t or don’t want to reduce the price, you’ll have to let the buyer leave with their earnest money in hand. Some appraisals “stick” to the property for 6 months, which can cause real heartache for sellers. The good news is that once you’re through the inspection, appraisal, and title process, you’re on the home stretch.
Keep in touch.
If your buyer is getting a loan, keep in touch with their lender at least once a week. Make sure the buyer is delivering required information to their lender on a timely basis and that you are on track with the anticipated closing date. Last minute delays are a nightmare for sellers who are doing a double close or moving out of town.
See, that wasn’t so bad, was it? If you find yourself overwhelmed or in need of advice at any point in the process, call us. We’ll make sure you get the answers you need, and we’ll jump in if you need us to. It just doesn’t make sense to pay 6% or 7% for a process that is so straightforward and relatively simple. We know you can do it, but we’re here to help if you need us.
Good luck out there!