Time to Celebrate? ~ It Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over:
Why going under contract is NOT the time to celebrate and why doing a specific list of things during this phase of the selling process will make or break your home sale
Want to get the very most money for your home in this hot sellers’ market?
In a hot seller’s market, many people don’t realize there is much more to selling a home than taking a few photos and throwing it on the MLS and waiting for closing day, especially if you want the very most for it in this hot market.
This is why I created my series, “Get the Most for Your Home Even In a Hot Seller’s Market” – to help you and anyone you know maximize the profits from your biggest investment and not get “caught up in what other people are doing.”
This is a must-read series, even if you aren’t selling a home anytime soon.
In this article in the 6 week series, you’ll learn why going under contract is NOT the time to start celebrating the sale of your home. There is so much that needs to happen between now and closing and it’s crucial it’s handled correctly. I promise, though, once closing occurs, THEN we can start throwing the confetti!
Today, you’ll learn what needs to get done and who does what so there are no hiccups during this crucial time of selling your home.
One of my clients compared me to a wedding coordinator…that is a perfect analogy from the time you go “under contract” to even after closing. My job is to work with all parties to make sure everyone does what they are supposed to do so that we get to the BIG DAY on time and with the least amount of stress and hassles (for you) as possible.
I’ll be working with you, the buyer’s agent, the buyer’s lender, the title company and any other vendors we need to involve during this phase of the selling process. My job is to assign tasks, continue to negotiate terms on your behalf and make sure deadlines are met by everyone involved, and then, of course, keep you up-to-date on the progress along the way.
More than anything, though, my job is to make sure the terms you agreed to when you signed the contract are carried out correctly and on time. Often times, the under-contract phase feels a little “quiet.” That’s because there are more parties involved then before we went under contract. My goal is to make this phase not such a mystery for you and let you know who is doing what when every few days.
Here’s a quick summary of what typically happening behind the scenes from going under contract to closing:
- Estimated net sheet – talk about the real numbers we know have and what to expect and WHEN. I find this can surprise my clients, and not in the good kind of way!
- Track important dates – The very first thing I do when we go under contract is plot all the important dates in a calendar and share that with you. Depending on the terms you agreed to in the contract, this could be anything from contingencies to document review periods, to when the appraiser is coming to when the home inspection is happening. I make sure you and I both know these crucial deadlines so we can work backwards and make sure everything is done on time and keep all other parties on time too.
- Introductions – Next, I introduce myself and all the other parties involved in the process to each other and make sure they have everything they need, like a copy of the contract, to start their processing of the file. For example, I make sure the title company has a copy of the contract and your contact information so they can start working with you on things like the pay-off statement. I introduce myself to the buyer’s lender and make sure he or she has what they need from our side to start the loan processing. And, I make sure the lender and title company have each other’s contact information since they will need to work closely together throughout the process
- Earnest Money Deposit – Remember, depending on the contract terms you agreed to (check out last week’s article) you don’t always get this money back. So, we’ll review again when the buyer can void and get their deposit back and when you are in the clear to receive their deposit if something changes. Not only that, but it needs to be deposited by a certain date and I follow up to make sure that happens.
- Option Period & Inspection Process – Right now option periods are short and this is mostly good for sellers, but it means that we have to be on top of things. Part of the Move With Mestayer listing package is to prepare your home for inspections before we list, so hopefully most of the prep work has been completed. This helps us navigate this short time period with ease.
- Track the buyer’s loan – I touch base with the buyer’s lender a very specific times during the under contract period to track the loan, make sure everything is going according to plan, that financing and appraisal contingency dates are being met, that the buyers have received their closing disclosure in the correct amount of time and that the title company has what they need from the lender to close on time on the agreed upon settlement day in the contract.
- Create an appraisal package and meet the appraiser – This is SO important. Homes are oftentimes selling for more than recent sales aka “the comps” would support. Because of this, I want to make a strong case for the price that you and the buyer have agreed on. I put together a package of material that supports your agreed upon price—things like the upgrades of the house, recent sales that support our price, a list of improvements you’ve made to the home as well as a summary of how many offers we had and why the price got where it did
- Vendor list: If you need suggestions for any contractors like moving companies, cleaners, any repairs, I will supply you a list of contractors I’ve used and recommend to make your move and any to-dos easier on you.
- Sign removal – Time to take down the sign now that we are headed towards settlement! I’ll call the sign company and get the order placed to remove the sign.
- Coordinate the final walk-through – Next up, I’ll coordinate the final walk-through with the buyers. Typically the buyer’s final walk-through happens right before closing. The point of the final walk-through is to make sure your home is ready for the buyers to take ownership and confirm that any home inspection items that were agreed to be fixed by you have been completed.
- Condition of home at closing – Speaking of the buyer’s walk-through, one question I get a lot is about the condition a seller’s home must be in for settlement. The contract calls for your home to be in “broom swept” condition with all your belongings out. A good rule of thumb is to leave the home you sold in the same condition you’d like to the home you are moving into left for you.
- Final To-Dos:
- Review your final documents and numbers with you prior to settlement
- Closing Day Logistics
- Next Day Check In
- Celebrate! Now’s the time to throw the confetti and finally celebrate. You’re officially DONE!
Phew! There’s a lot to do once you are under contract to ensure everything goes smoothly. But, don’t worry, I’ll be with you every step of the way being your project manager and giving you updates weekly and at every important milestone. And, although I love having a plan so everything goes like clockwork, I’ve also got a plan b AND c so that no matter what pops up…we will handle it together!
If you’ve been thinking about selling your home and want to know how to get the very most for it or you just want to handle over the keys and let me handle it all, I got you. The first step is for us to have a conversation about why you want to sell, where you are headed and when you want to be there. You can schedule that with me here: email@example.com
I'm Jennifer Mestayer (Med-E-A) and I love helping Cypress families buy and sell their
homes as they move through the varying stages of life. From first homes to forever homes...
Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
Cy-Fair Real Estate
16718 House & Haul Rd, St N
Cypress, TX 77433
schedule your free consultation