The offer/counteroffer phase of the home selling experience can be very stressful for both the seller and the buyer. This process is exacerbated when there are multiple counteroffers. When the seller and buyer have signed the last counteroffer and it’s delivered to both parties. All parties get to breathe that great sigh of relief, but what happens next?
The short answer is that you are ‘under contract’. Once you finish reveling in joy and relief, the buyer jumps into action with many things to be done quickly, the seller, however, begins a contractual waiting game and a packing and moving frenzy. Click here for more information on the Buyer’s responsibilities once you are under contract.
From a contractual perspective, the Seller’s obligations are:
- To maintain your home in the condition it was in at the time the contract was accepted (in other words, if something “breaks” before closing, it’s the seller’s obligation to fix it).
- In Arizona this means you’re entering the inspection and BINSR phase, if you missed our blog on the BINSR, click here to learn more. The buyer will conduct inspections and within 10 days of acceptance of the purchase contract, will either cancel the contract or notify the seller of disapproved items. The seller responds to the disapproved items list by: a) refusing to do any repairs; b) agreeing to to all or some of the repairs; or c) doing nothing at all (which is the equivalent of refusing to do any of the repairs). The most common response is for the seller to agree to do some, but not all, of the repairs. At this point the seller needs to get busy getting the repairs done and submitting receipts as “proof” of completion.
- Terminate utilities and other service providers to your home effective as of your closing date. The buyer cannot arrange to have utilities services started until you have notified your providers that you are leaving. In Arizona you’re required to keep utility services on to accommodate the buyers’ inspectors and the final walk-through which will take place during the last few days before closing.
- Notify your home insurer that your homeowner’s policy can be cancelled on the day AFTER closing. If something goes wrong and you don’t close on time, you’ll want to make sure that you have insurance coverage until you officially no longer own your home (that happens when change of title is recorded).
- Accommodate all inspectors/inspections that the buyer requests, these include but are not necessarily limited to: a home inspection; a wood destroying pests’ inspection; a pool inspection; an HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) inspection; a radon gas inspection; mold inspection and so on. The number and type of inspectors involved is a matter of choice for the buyer and your obligation is to make your home available for them.
- If the buyer is financing the purchase, the mortgage company will require an appraisal, if the buyer is paying cash for your home, he or she may want an appraisal. Either way, it is likely that you will need to accommodate an appraiser. It’s important for you to know that if your home does not appraise at or above the purchase price, the buyers may walk away from the deal and you’ll be thrown back into the position you were in before the original offer was made.
- The buyer may want to return to your home to take measurements, check paint colors finishes, fixtures etc. You’re not obligated to accommodate such visits, but we STRONGLY encourage you to do so. Keep in mind that during the inspection period the buyer can cancel the contract for any reason, so this is not the time to make them angry or frustrate their efforts.
- Technically you need to be completely out of your home, and ready to deliver vacant possession when title transfers to the buyer. If all is in order, particularly in Arizona, you could well be required to deliver vacant possession at 8:00 am on the closing date. This means that, unless other written arrangements have been made, you need to be moved out of your home by 8:00 am on the closing day. Assuming you don’t want to be up during the wee hours on the day of closing, we STRONGLY recommend that you make every effort to be out of your home no later than the day before closing.
So, go ahead and get packing! It’s time to move!
That’s it for today’s post, if you want more information on what to do after you receive an offer, or if you want to stay up to date on all things Anthem, make sure you like our Facebook Page at ‘Wise Move AZ’ or subscribe to our Wise Move AZ channel on YouTube.
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Remember, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell their home, please give us a call! It’s always the right time to make a wise move with the Wise Move AZ Team.