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You Got a Contract on Your House. What Happens Now?

After accepting a contract on your home, there are a few more steps you need to take before you hand the keys over to the buyer.

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So you’ve got a contract on your home. Congratulations! What’s happens now?

First, you need to prepare for the home inspection. Hopefully you took care of any needed repairs prior to listing the home, but if something remains, take care of it right away. The home inspection is the buyer’s responsibility and paid for at their expense, so they’re the ones who will order it. Normally it takes place within 15 days of accepting a contract on your home. Make sure all the utilities are on and the attic space, the crawl space, and the electrical panel are all accessible for the home inspector.

It’s best to not be present for the home inspection because the buyer will be there with their agent and the home inspector and you want them to be comfortable, envisioning themselves living there, and falling in love with the home all over again.

A couple days after the home inspection, you’ll get a copy of the inspection report along with the repair request addendum. Normally, sellers agree to all reasonable repairs requested, and we negotiate through that process. If you need help getting vendors lined up to take care of any repairs, let us know so my closing team can assist you. Remember, it’s your responsibility to take care of all repairs before closing.

After we reach an agreement on repairs, the next step is a termite inspection. Look at your contract to see whether you or the buyer is responsible for this inspection. If it is you, make sure you know who the closing of attorney is so you can get the report to them. A buyer will have to sign off on that report at closing. Remember, this inspection is different than the typical termite inspection that you do quarterly. This is a state letter that has to be provided when a home is sold.


Until the keys are handed over, keep the home in good order.


After repairs and inspections, next comes the appraisal. The bank will order the appraisal, and the appraiser has 10 business days to complete the process. It’s fine for you to be at the home during the appraisal because the buyer will not be present. After we know the home has appraised for the agreed contract price and there is no termite problems or repairs required by the appraiser, you’re free to start packing up the home. Again, be sure to keep all the utilities on all the way through closing.

The next step will be the buyer doing a final walkthrough either the day of the closing or the day before to make sure the home is in good order. You need to be sure the home is clean and the yard has been maintained just as it was when the buyer first wrote the contract.

At closing, you need to bring your keys, your garage door openers, and your driver’s license. At the closing table with you will be your agent, the buyer, the buyer’s agent, and the closing attorney. The closing attorney will walk everyone through all the documents and explain everything clearly. Sometimes we get a copy of the report prior to closing, but many times we don’t see it until we actually get there primarily because we’re dependent on the lenders and the attorney preparing all the paperwork prior to closing.

If you have any questions or I can help you or your family and friends in buying and selling their next homes, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’d be glad to help!

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