The California Purchase Contract includes a 17 day inspection contingency period and 21 day loan approval period. So, weeks two and three tend to be 'make it or break it' time.
During week two of escrow, home buyers should have their inspection and appraisal. If they don't have these things done during this time period, they will probably be asking you for an extension.
Home inspections are what I refer to as 'D - day.' That is when I will know whether a deal is going to fly. The home inspection impacts so very much, most importantly the buyer's perception of the property. Not only are the inspector's findings important, but the way the inspector communicates these to the buyer makes all the difference in the world.
Within a day or two of having the home inspection completed, the buyer or buyer's agent will send you, the seller, a repair request. Your responses will be either 1) yes, I'll do it 2) No I won't or 3) I will do some of these, but not others.
Generally speaking, any repair request that includes things related to health, safety or function should be fixed. Everything else is subject to negotiation.
The home appraisal should occur during week two, as well. You may or may not learn of the outcome this week. Whether or not a home appraises at the sales price is kind of a big deal in real estate transactions. If the home appraises, great, no problem - the transaction moves onward.
If your home does not appraise for the list price, the buyer's agent is going to ask you to reduce the sales price to the appraised value. Think of the home appraisal value as blue book on your car. Would YOU pay more for a car, or home for that matter than it is worth? As a home seller, it will be up to you here to decide what you are willing to do. If you refuse to lower the price to appraised value, you will likely lose the buyer; if y reduce price to appraised value, you move forward.
Tomorrow, we will cover the all-important contingency removal.