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What Happens after You Sign a Real Estate Contract to Sell a House?

After negotiating, you have settled on a price for your Alabama or Florida real estate and have signed a real estate contract. But what happens next? The next few steps will take the buyer time and money and can definitely be stressful, so do not throw a party quite yet. Today, has an outline ready for what you can expect after you sign a real estate contract.

Escrow or Earnest Money Deposits Will Be Cashed

What Happens After You Sign a Real Estate Contract?

An escrow deposit is money that the buyer has put in the care of a third party company to show good faith in completing the transaction of purchasing your home from the MLS listing. The earnest money deposit that your buyer has set aside can then be deposited after you have both agreed and come to terms with the real estate agreement you have signed. Some other contingencies that will be dealt with over the next few days will be:

  • Document review
  • Property appraisal
  • Property inspection

Disclosures and Other Documents for your Flat Fee Listing

The next step you should expect is the reviewing of your disclosures as well as city reports and property specific reports. The first few days of escrow are meant for the buyer to familiarize themselves with the for sale by owner MLS listing, its history, the experience of living there and how the local government sees the property from a city tax appraiser viewpoint. Your buyer will take a few days to review all of these reports with a realtor, a real estate attorney, and/or a title company.

Mortgage Brokers or Bankers

Your buyer will then start talking to their mortgage broker or banker about the current interest rates and types of loans in order to finalize their mortgage loan in a time frame most suitable for them to pay. This is also the time when the bank orders a property appraisal of your MLS listing. This can often take a week for the appraiser to set an appointment, and possibly another week for the completed appraisal to be submitted to the bank.

Property Inspection

The property inspection or inspections is usually the last important milestone after you have signed a contract and before you close, but it may be the most stressful. Expect to have the buyer present at the inspection with their agent and armed with many questions about the home such as the state of the roof or how long before they must replace the heating and cooling units.

The property inspector's job is to check out your home in its entirety, from top to bottom. They should and will point out all the major systems, where they are located and how they work. The inspector is not actually there to point out all the flaws as much as they are there to identify current or potential issues for the buyer to consider in passing years. This will also give your buyers time to create or envision short- and long-term maintenance plans.

In a different segment of our blog, we will discuss what to expect with these property inspections.

Nearly There!

This time between contract signing and closing is the time when your buyer should be doing as much of their due diligence as possible, which can be time consuming and stressful for both them and you as the seller of your home. This is the time that they will conduct home inspections and asking as many questions as possible to their realtor, loan officer, real estate attorney, or property inspector. It could move very quickly, or leave you waiting for a few months, so be prepared to take time for yourself to recharge and prepare for your new home and help combat the stress you may feel.

In summary: Now that you have signed a real estate agreement you can expect at least a few weeks to pass before the final closing. In this time, the buyer of your home will be finalizing financial agreements with their bank as well as taking the time to do their due diligence on all aspects of the for sale contract.