1. Receiving An Offer
Agents in New Jersey must use a Broker’s contract which includes the right to consult an attorney. Along with this offer should be the buyer’s mortgage approval and often a copy of the initial deposit check. After discussing this with your agent, you send back a reply.
Don’t take it personally – this is a business situation. A buyer may send in a low offer just to see how pliable you are. It’s best to reply in a timely manner – you don’t want a buyer to lose enthusiasm.
House sales are negotiated much faster than people expect. Usually it only takes one day or two. No one wants this to drag on – and making a buyer wait cools him off.
Once everyone agrees on price and terms, the offer is revised to reflect this and sent to you for your signature. The moment you sign the offer it becomes a contract and Attorney Review begins.
4. Attorney Review
The attorneys now create the final, binding contract. They cancel the contract you signed, make the changes they want and send the revised contract for buyer and seller signatures (unless the attorneys sign for you). Normally this only takes a few days.
5. Home Inspection
Typically buyers are given 10 days from the completion of Attorney Review to do the home inspections. Inspections take around 3 hours. I recommend that you’re not there; it’s simply too stressful. I’ll be there for you.
6. Inspection Negotiations
The unhappy truth is that no home is perfect and even if you want an “as is” sale, buyers have the right to inspect. The buyer’s attorney will send repair requests to your attorney; you’ll go over this with your attorney and I will help as well. Basically this becomes another negotiation.
The next step is the buyer’s written mortgage commitment. The bank sends an appraiser to your home to justify the mortgage – I’ll meet the appraiser. After the commitment is received, the buyer’s attorney orders title and survey. Then both attorneys prepare closing documents and schedule the closing.
8. Walk Through & Closing
Regulations demand that closings are delayed 3 business days if any applicable change occurs within 3 days of the scheduled closing. This is why buyers do 2 walk through inspections; 7-10 days prior to verify everything is on schedule and the day of closing verify the house is as it should be. I’ll be at every walk through for you.
If you need to make repairs, do work, etc. in order to close – get it done early. Don’t take a chance that it won’t be done on time because there can be no last minute credit for work not done. Imagine your things are on a truck driving to your next home only to learn you can’t close for another week.
At closing, your attorney goes over the closing disclosure with you. You wish the buyer well, hand over the house keys and pick up your check for what is due you. You’ve just sold your house!
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