What Do Home Sellers Need To Know About the Closing Timeline?

Part of getting your home sale completed is agreeing on a time frame with your buyer. But what happens if there are seemingly intractable issues when it comes to doing this? We have a few tips to make things easier.

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Getting on the same page with your buyer about closing timelines is essential for a successful real estate deal. But what do you do when — as so often happens — the two parties want different things? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back.

What Do Home Sellers Need To Know About the Closing Timeline?

As a home seller, your home should close between 30 and 45 days after the offer is accepted. The following is one suggested timeline that you and your buyer might consider as you come close to the conclusion of your real estate deal:

Days 1-3: Negotiate the Offer. Once the buyers present you with their offer, you can evaluate it and come back with a counteroffer. The final agreement should include a closing date, moving date, and what is included in the purchase.

Day 4: Book a Home Inspection. After the final offer has been signed by both parties, your buyer will likely schedule an inspection.

Days 7-10: Finalize Your Purchase Agreement. With the inspection complete, it’s time to put the finishing touches on your purchase agreement. Both you and the buyer must agree on this in order to move forward with the sale.

Day 14: Buyer Completes a Mortgage Application. It is then sent on for further approval.

Days 15-20: An Appraisal Is Ordered and Done. Once this is complete, it’s a major step towards closing the deal. In the interim, the buyer’s mortgage company will evaluate the results to ensure that the loan is in line with the home’s value.

Days 25-45: Buyers Receive Final Loan Approval. Deal Closes. So long as the buyer indeed gets final approval on their loan, you’re looking pretty good to go. However, keep in close contact with your agent to make sure nothing unexpected crops up along the way.

While disagreements may arise during this time, it’s best to remain cool and professional. Nothing is going to get resolved by you bursting a blood vessel.

Disagreements and How to Handle Them

Don’t be surprised if you run into some difficulties – minor, hopefully – and know that there’s almost always a way to manage them. Here are a few potential disagreements that might come up:

  • The rapidity of the closing time. As a seller, you’re likely going to want to close sooner than your buyer might desire. After all, you want the cash in your pocket and the ability to move on to your next home! However, you’re going to have to meet your buyer halfway on this one, unless you have another offer in your back pocket. Figure out the latest date you can realistically close and propose this as a compromise.
  • Your buyer may be seeking to lock in their mortgage rate. Should they require a 60- or 90-day rate lock to meet the closing schedule, this could cost them money. If you are the one seeking a long closing timeline, this is something you’ll have to keep in mind. You may find yourself offering concessions in order to soften the blow.
  • If you’re interested in renting back your home for a few days or weeks, this may be a boon for you, but possibly not for your buyer. It introduces a new level of liability, so they’ll have to have insurance to protect against that. Again, you might want to sweeten this proposition with concessions of your own.

Your agent will have good ideas as to how to negotiate timeframes. Listen to them. Their experience speaks – or should speak – volumes.

If you find yourself entangled in a disagreement with your buyer with regard to timelines, take a deep breath. This doesn’t mean your sale isn’t going to happen. It just means you need to put your heads together and negotiate. Your agent will be able to help you do just this.

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