Accept an Offer on your Home

Your agent should be able to prepare a Seller's-Net-Proceeds Estimate. This will help you determine how much money to expect when you walk away from the settlement table. Please ask to see a pre-approval letter from the buyer's lender. This letter shows that the buyers have already been approved for the loan necessary for them to buy your house. It is more secure than a pre-qualification letter, in which a lender does not make a commitment to loan money.

Pick a settlement date that works for you (within reason). It may be necessary for you to rent back your house, but don't expect it. If you do rent back, be sure to update your homeowners insurance policy to cover you now that you are no longer the owner.

If you have a Property Owner's Association (POA), make sure you have a recent copy of your Homeowner Documents to give to your buyers. Your buyers have 3 days from the date of receipt of the documents to cancel the contract.

The timing of contingincies (home inspection, financing, POA documents, ...) start from the date the contract is ratified. A contract is ratified when all final changes are signed by both sides of the agreement, AND a copy of the final document is delivered to each party. Ask your agent exactly when your contract was ratified.

Please note that the selection of settlement agencies is made in the contract and chosen (usually) by the buyers.

After you have a ratified contract, it's a good idea to line up your movers, and make a list of services to be notified: Electric, Water, Gas, Phone, Paper, Garbage, Cable, Change of Address Cards. Remember to leave your utilities on until AFTER settlement!