Finally, a buyer has put a great offer in on your property and you’ve decided to accept. Get ready to pop the bubbly and celebrate, right? Well, not quite yet. The buyer most likely has added a few contingencies to the offer that you’ll need to overcome before the big celebration:
Inspection Contingencies: Most buyers in Itasca County will add a water test, septic inspection, and home inspection to their offer. Your realtor can schedule both the water test (if you use well water) and the septic inspection at your expense. These are done as quickly as possible and results shared with the buyer’s agent who, in turn, shares with the buyers. If the water test meets Minnesota drinking water standards, it passes. If the septic system is found to be compliant in today’s standards, it will all pass. If not, we are back to the negotiation table with the buyer. The home inspection will be scheduled by the buyer’s agent at the buyer’s cost. The home inspector will look at everything to make sure there are not major issues. This includes checking the roof, foundation, plumbing, electric, and floor to name a few. Again, it any major issues are found, the buyer has the option of walking away from the offer, asking you to fix things, or simply taking everything as is. Normally all of these inspections are completed within a week of you accepting the offer.
Financing Contingency: Even though the buyer is pre-approved (one thing you should always ask your realtor when they present the offer), things can still fall apart with the buyer’s financing. The lender will schedule an appraisal of your home to ensure that it is worth what the buyer is saying they’ll pay. Appraisers will schedule a time to come to your home and look around to see your property. They will use comparable properties that have recently sold to help gauge the pricing. If the appraisal comes in lower then what the buyer has said they would pay, the lender will not be able to loan that amount. Again, the buyer can walk away from the deal or ask that you lower the price to meet the appraised amount.
Title Work: While the inspection and financing folks are working on their parts, the title company will be doing the title work on your property. Some of the items that come up often in the Northern portions of Itasca County are Road Maintenance Agreements for private roads, Easement issues, and Encroachment issues. If any of these issues are found, you, the seller, will need to work with your realtor to resolve them prior to closing on the sale.
Closing: On the purchase agreement, the buyer will have listed when they’d like to close on the sale. The lender knows the date. The title company knows the date, and both buyer and seller knows the date. Sounds like it is pretty set in stone, right? No 100%! The lender might not be ready. The title company might not be ready. Maybe an easement issue hasn’t been resolved yet, Your realtor will keep you informed on the process of the sale.
Selling a home is a process for sure. Your celebration comes at the closing table once the buyers have signed and your home is now theirs.