Sequence of events from contract to close for sellers in St Louis MO
It’s really somewhat humbling, I know, when your real estate agent and the stager come in and start moving things around in your house to make it “presentation” ready to show. Not only that, it really cramps your lifestyle to live with a “show ready” house until it sells. Then comes relief, you have just reached price agreement. Time to go back to life as usual.
Sorry, not so fast. Keeping your house in show ready condition for the next 3 to 4 weeks is essential to making it to the closing table.
Here is an outline of the sequence of events from contract to close for sellers:
1. Immediately after price agreement your agent starts behind the scenes by sending the paperwork to the title company to prepare for closing. It is standard practice in St Louis MO to close at the title company. The seller’s title company coordinates with the buyer’s title company to assure that clear title is transferred. The seller’s title company will contact the seller for mortgage information and homeowner association contact information. They take care of paying off the mortgage, the taxes that are due, the sewer and water in some cases, any municipal or homeowner association assessments and anything else that could become a lien against the property.
2. If you live in an area that requires a municipal inspection, make sure you have ordered it or have a code compliance letter for the buyer.
Your agent will send you a calendar of critical dates that are contingencies on the contract. Many of the contingencies are written into the contract by number of days. The days are calendar days not business days. The day from which the dates are calculated is the “acceptance deadline date”. This date is highlighted on the form below.
3. The first contingency date is usually the building inspection contingency date. Make sure your house is show ready for this appointment and it is best to be out of the house. This is usually 10 to 15 days from the “contract acceptance date”. If at all possible as a seller it is best to be gone at the time of the building inspection because if you thought it was bad when the agent and stager were picking your house apart – geez – you are in for it now. At the time of the building inspection, the prospective buyers, their agent and the building inspectors will probably be present. Sometimes a parent or friend may come by also. It is the time the buyer gets to take a peak at their house again and confirm their decision to buy it.
4. Within about 2-3 days, the buyer’s agent will deliver to the seller’s agent a Building Inspection Notice. This is when negotiations start over again. There is usually a 10 day period from receipt of the request in which to get this request worked out. Once the request is made by the buyer, the seller and the seller’s agent will procure bids on the requests and try to work out the details of what is agreeable and present it back to the buyer. If no agreement is reached within the allotted time period, the contract can be terminated.
5. At some time during the first 3 to 4 weeks the bank’s appraiser will also make an appointment. Make sure your house is show ready for this appointment and it is best to be out of the house. The appraiser usually spends about a half hour in the house. The primary approach to develop an opinion of value for a residential property, the sales comparison approach utilizes recent sales of comparable properties. An appraiser will analyze and compare characteristics that include the living area of the home, land area, style, age, quality of construction, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, presence or absence of a garage, etc. The appraiser will also take a close look at condition. Certain types of loans, VA and FHA in particular, may have “predications” on the appraisal. Predications are repairs that the appraiser thinks should be completed prior to closing. As a seller you have the option of saying no to any of these predications at which point the contract would be terminated.
The appraisal belongs to the buyer and is usually not shared with the seller – only if there is a problem. From the date of the appraisal it is usually about 5 days before the lender receives a hard copy of the appraisal. At that time, the appraisal goes through a review by the underwriter at the lender. It is during this time period that a seller would probably hear if there is a problem.
6. After the appraiser has been to your house, you can relax for a bit. The next contingency date will be the title and survey contingency which is usually 25 days from the acceptance deadline date. By this time the buyer must advise if there are any problems with clear title and/or any encumbrances on the survey.
7. The last contingency is firm loan commitment. This date is usually at least one week prior to closing. After this date it is time to schedule the utility turnover to the new buyer.
Congratulations. Now you should make it to the closing table. (As an aside, don’t make your mortgage payment if your closing is between the first and the tenth.)
Contact Barbara Heise for quality representation when you are selling your home – call or text 314-503-4856.
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