HELPFUL GUIDE TO SELLING YOUR HOME
Even the most seasoned sellers can feel lost during a real estate transaction at times. I am here to help guide you through the process.
PRE-LISTING GROUNDWORK: Before your property hits the market, the pre-listing groundwork must be laid. Primarily this means some light paperwork and locating files from when you purchased the property. While every property is different, typically you will need to fill out a seller’s disclosure, locate the survey (or order a new one), notarize a t-47, and order an Energy Audit (if in the city of Austin). Your agent will assist you in identifying which documents are necessary, helpful, or superfluous for your property. Finally, you will work with your agent to determine a list price that fits your needs and the current market climate and sign a listing agreement.
PREPARING TO LIST: In addition to gathering the necessary paperwork, before listing is the time to make your property shine – you will only get one chance to make a first impression on buyers. Your agent will happily help you identify the most important areas to focus on to get your house show and photo-ready. Once the property is ready, your agent will have the property photographed and begin the listing and marketing process.
OFFER & ACCEPTANCE: Once you receive an offer and both parties have agreed to the terms of the offer, by initialing and signing it, the contract is now considered “executed”. The buyer’s agent then delivers the earnest money (generally 1% of sales price) and contract to the title company where it is held in an escrow account and the closing process begins. The option money must be delivered to the sellers within 48 hours of the executed contract for the option period to be valid.
TITLE COMPANY: Once the contract is receipted, the title company will send the executed contract to the buyers, sellers, and agents involved. From this point on, the title company will serve as a liaison between the involved parties— collecting information, ordering the survey, maintaining the escrow account, etc. The title company also ensures that the title to a property has no claims against it and can be freely transferred.
THE OPTION PERIOD & INSPECTION: The option period is a time for the buyer to do their due diligence, have the property inspected, and negotiate any potential repairs. During this time, buyers reserve the unrestricted right to cancel the contract. Typically, option periods are between 7 and 10 days. Additional documentation will be signed and executed if any agreements are made
APPRAISAL: You will be contacted by the buyer’s lender's appraiser to schedule an appraisal. * If a home appraisal comes in below the sales price, a discussion will need to take place to see if the buyer and seller can come to a new agreement. If not, usually, the buyer will be able to terminate the contract and receive their earnest money back.
CLOSING DISCLOSURE: Once the lender issues a “clear to close” they send needed documents to the title company, and title delivers the Closing Disclosure to all parties at least three days prior to closing.
FINAL WALK-THROUGH: Within 24-48 hours of closing the buyers will schedule a final walk-through of the property to ensure that any negotiated repairs have been made and the home is in satisfactory condition.
CLOSING: The title company will set appointments with the seller and buyer to sign documents. These generally happen on the same day, but not generally at the same time. The seller’s appointment often takes 30 minutes or less. After everything is signed, the lender must still approve funding before the buyer gets the keys. This usually occurs the same day. The title company will send all the documents to the lender for final approval. Once the lender has issued final approval the transaction is considered “funded.” Keys are then released to the buyer and proceeds are disbursed to the seller.