So, you have gotten an offer and have accepted the offer. But before you pack your bags and plan to spend the equity money, you need to check a few things to make certain that your transaction in on smooth sail towards the close.
1) Escrow: Your Real Estate agent should have opened an escrow for you and your real estate agent need to make sure that the buyer’s earnest money deposit is received at escrow. The default time period for the escrow is 3 days. If the funds are in the form of a check, then your escrow officer and agent should check back in a few days to make sure that the funds were indeed made available to the escrow account and that the buyer’s check has cleared.
2) Contingency Removal: If the buyer of your home has inspection and loan contingencies, your real estate agent needs to monitor the activity associated with these contingencies. Believe me , you do not want any surprises right before your about to move out.
3) Escrow Instructions: Your agent needs to meet with the escrow officer and review the escrow instructions to prevent potential inhibitors to your close of escrow. For instance, if your buyer is a corporation or LLC, the escrow should require legal documents as proof that the buyer is indeed authorized to sign for the legal entity.
4) Title Search: Your buyer is buying the property with the assurance that they will get clear title to the property. So, Title Search is part of such process and your agent will be notified if there are any title issues with your property. However, these types of problems typically surface when you open escrow and receive what’s called a Prelim which contains your home’s legal description, boundaries, easement and other requirements.
5) Final Inspection: Your agent should schedule with the buyer’s agent a time to do a final walk-through and get the buyer to sign the condition disclosures that shows every appliances, switches, plugs, water heater, AC are all in working order.
6) Loan Funding: If your buyer is buying the home with a loan from a lender, there is one more step for your real estate agent to worry about which is the funding. In some cases, if the property does not appraise to the value of your offer, your buyer has to cover the balance which could easily cancel your transaction.
7) Record of Title: Once the title is recorded, then you are safe to hand over the keys to your agent for delivery to the buyer’s agent. Avoid the temptation of providing access to your buyers prior to recording cause if the house catches fire when they are inside, their insurance company will not cover it since it’s still legally your home!