Sellers Checklist and Hurdles to get to Settlement

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. 608255


After 6 years in Real Estate and Listing and selling more than 100 homes for sellers I have made a checklist for the sellers so they know what they can expect once their house goes under contract. With this changing market, this checklist can also change and not all experiences are the same.. But these are the most common questions I get, and emotional hurdles, the seller has to go through when selling their house... For a Free no obligation, "Price your house Right" consultation and my customized sellers packet please call me at 240-483-7556 or email me at I am always available to help....


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Key Contingencies to a Buyers offer are:

1.     Home Inspection 7-10 days (Radon, Lead Paint, Septic, Well, Oil Heat)

2.    Requested repairs by buyer

3.    Appraisal ordered by the bank (What is your house Really worth)

4.    Home must be in the same condition it was at the time of contract (A/C must work, appliances must work, toilets must flush, sinks must drain, etc.)


Sellers Checklist and
Hurdles to get to Settlement


Once the contract is Ratified the buyers are going to want to do a home inspection, the bank is going to do an appraisal, and finally the buyers will do a final walk through before settlement...


Sellers MUST:

1. Have all the utilities and water on and remain on until the settlement so all the inspections can be completed and most importantly the final walk through...

2. Give access to the buyers to do inspections and appraisal completed for the bank.

Hurdles to get to closing are:

Home inspection - The buyers will have the home inspected, some request Radon, Lead paint, septic, well, fireplace, etc…depending on what they find they will have their agent write-up a request for some items to be repaired. Some items you may want to fix, others you may not.. But until we get the list we won't know what they are going to ask for.... If they ask for something to be fixed they will give you a copy of the home inspection with a detailed list of what they want done.

This all has to be done within the time stated in the contract, if it’s 7 days they have 7 days to have the inspection and give us the request.

2. Appraisal - ordered by the buyers’ lender...Appraisers and lenders can no longer speak to each other so they will request the appraisal and then I will be contacted to give access to the property. He will ask me for a copy of the contract so he knows how much the house is under contract for and I will send it to him..

Then he will look at the square ft. of the house, the houses that have sold in the past 6 months within a 1 mile radius, or possibly 3 miles depending on what has sold, and the age and condition of the house, usually 10 years up or down...

Should he find that the most recent sales, with the criteria I have outlined are lower than what the contract is for then you may have to reduce the sales price. No bank will give a buyer a loan for more than the house appraises for, and buyers typically will not pay more than the house is worth. If the house appraised for $462,500 then the buyer’s agent will inform me that the appraisal is ok and we have completed another hurdle...

During the appraisal the
lender may also ask for repairs, such as, if the air conditioning is not working the day he goes and does his appraisal, he will ask that it be serviced. This is just an example.. Any lender required repairs would have to be done in order for you to sell the house.


Some lender required repairs I have seen, that have to be done are:

1.  Any peeling or chipping paint on or around the house or hand rails

2.Air conditioning not working

3.Stove is not working

4.Closet doors not secured

5.Cement steps that are crumbling and in need of repair


If the buyer is FHA, or VA these items would have to be done before the lending institution would give the buyer the loan. Generally, the buyers FHA addendum will outline the $$$ they expect the Seller to contribute to the lender required repairs. If the estimates are over that amount then the seller can ask the buyer to increase the price of the house to cover the costs, or reduce the amount of the seller credit to help with the additional costs to get the house sold.


Seller Help: If you are giving the buyer $10,000 in closing help you do not have to bring a check to closing “unless” you do not have any equity in your home to cover the costs of closing. So in this case the house is being sold for $462,500, you don’t owe anything on the house, and you are giving $10,000 in closing help. You don’t to bring any money to the table because you will be getting money at closing.


Title Company:  The buyer gets to pick the title company for settlement, they will be contacting you “the seller” to get your payoff information on the house. If you do not owe anything on the house then you would just call them or fill out the documents stating you don’t owe.. If you do have a mortgage, then they will need your bank account number, your social security number, and the phone number to get the payoff info. So look for the packet in the mail asking for the info.


Closing day: Closing day is finally here and you need to bring your Government issued ID card to settlement. And just 1 last hurdle…. If the buyers find something in the house during their walk through, like the refrigerator no longer works, or the A/C unit doesn’t work, a clog in a sink, or anything else that is different from when they put the contract on the house, then they will ask you at the closing table for a credit (money) or for you to fix it. If they ask you to fix it, a dollar amount $ will go into escrow, generally $1000 until the item is fixed, then once the buyer is satisfied then they will sign off on the repair and the money will be returned to you.


Coni Otto




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Comments (4)

Linda Edelwich
William Raveis Real Estate - Glastonbury, CT
Glastonbury Office's #1 Top Producing Agent-not on

Nice list. I think it has great info anyone can use including realtors!

Aug 23, 2011 01:43 AM
Michael L. Brownstead
Brownstead Real Estate, LLC - Frisco, TX
ABR, GRI, MRP, SRS, 1SG US Army (Ret.)

Connie, this is an awesome posting and it provides great info for sellers, buyers and agents alike! Thank you!

Aug 23, 2011 01:45 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Coni.   Brian England did a re-blog and sent me over here...

   "Once the Contract is Ratified" - that is when the Clock starts ticking.  Sellers need to attend to these tasks immediately, not on the last day of the Contingency period, or right before Closing. 

  Thanks for the great Blog Post!

Aug 23, 2011 02:58 AM
That hits the target preeftcly. Thanks!
Jan 17, 2012 05:30 PM

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