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Closing the Sale on Your Home

Updated on August 10, 2014

Closing the Sale on Your Home

Once you have accepted an offer on your home, the closing process begins. Today’s blog will explain the steps required to finalize the sale of your home. We’ll explain what happens during the inspection period and the possible outcomes. You’ll learn what role the title company plays in the closing and how long the entire process takes. We’ll gladly answer any questions you have about the closing. This brief video provides an overview so that you will know what to expect.

What Is Earnest Money

The closing process is entered after the seller accepts and signs a written offer. The offer stipulates the terms of the agreement such as the purchase price, down payment, financing and inspections. A deposit is typically submitted with the offer. This is often referred to as “earnest money”. Occasionally, it may be sent once all of the terms have been accepted by both parties. The deposit is held in escrow and becomes part of the down payment.

The Inspection Period

The next step is the inspection period. An inspector will assess the property and prepare a report. The buyer and their agent will receive the report in 24 to 48 hours for review. They will determine if any items need to be corrected and forward the report to the seller. The inspection report may require an additional inspection by a specialist such as a roofer or air conditioning technician. The seller has 10 days to review the report and decide what action to take if any. There may be additional negotiations during this process. The seller may decide to offer a credit in lieu of making the corrections.

The Title Company's Role in Closing

The Title Company's Role

A real estate transaction is managed by a title company. The buyer’s agent will send a copy of the purchase and sales agreement to the title company with a request for title. The title company provides the following services:

  • Orders tax information to ensure they are current
  • Provides loan pay off statements
  • Acquires surveys
  • Researches homeowner’s association fees
  • Assembles inspection reports
  • Provides evidence of hazard insurance
  • Performs a title search
  • Prepares closing documents

How Long Does it Take to Close?

The entire closing process typically takes 30 to 45 days to complete depending on the number of contingencies. A cash sale can be completed in much less time. The seller is not required to be present at the closing. They can sign the documents prior to that date. An agent will send a reminder to transfer the utilities and pick up the keys.

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