So You Have an Accepted Offer on a Home in Baltimore – What’s Next?

There’s no better feeling for both a seller and a buyer when they get contracts ratified! But what happens next? The answer…a lot!  But it’s a little different depending on what side you are on. SELLERS, the first thing that you should be waiting on are requested repairs from the buyer. This request addendum will come from the buyer’s agent to the seller’s agent once the home inspection is completed. Typical things to expect; service and certify the HVAC, roof repairs, plumbing leaks, etc.  Other similar inspections are Radon, Pest, Water Quality, Septic, Lead Paint. Repairs can be negotiated but tread lightly; the buyer can walk if they are happy with the repairs you don’t agree to.  Get your repairs done and give all the receipts to your agent.
If you have a HOA or Condo, now would be a good time to order the docs. They will typically charge you a fee for the "re sale package". Once you get them, get them to your agent ASAP so that the buyers can review. As there is an option to void the contract if the buyers don’t like what they read in the HOA or Condo docs! The appraisal usually happens shortly after the home inspection. The seller’s agent usually meets the appraiser at the house, hopefully with comps in hand. Appraisers can be tough. With FHA and VA they are also looking for unsafe conditions, like missing handrails and broke window panes. Some appraisers know the ins and outs of the area your house is located. Some don’t. If the appraisal doesn’t come in with the value of the contract or more, the buyers have the option to walk if the seller doesn’t lower the purchase price to the appraised value. It’s a pretty serious step in the process, as I have seen appraisers give very low values with poor supporting comps and there isn’t much you can do about it. Within the contract there is a deadline for the buyer’s Commitment Letter, usually due between 25 and 40 days of ratification. This will come from the buyer’s lender. This is usually the last contingency. Get thru these 3 contingencies and you can breathe easy! BUYERS, get your inspections scheduled quickly! This way if you absolutely hate what is found, you haven’t lost too much time under contract (be courteous of the sellers time too). I try to get all my inspections done in the first 10 days. Once the inspections are done, your agent should review what you’d like the sellers to repair. I like to be very specific as to what my buyers want repaired and how so there is no question. Most home inspections take just under 4 hours. I stay the entire time but my clients usually come for the last hour. Once that has been negotiated be sure your lender has all the docs from you that they need. Yes, some seem ridiculous but don’t shoot the messenger, just get it done. This is around the time when you will pay for the appraisal, about $450.00. It’s also a good time to get home owners insurance & can BGE to let them know that you will be buying XXX property on XXX day. They will start billing in your name the date you give them. If you give BGE the time to cut the service off, you’ll be charged another fee to connect the service….yes a BS fee so it’s just easier to make the call in advance. Of course there are several more scenarios and unfortunately lots of transactions have hiccups along the way. Hopefully you have an agent you feel totally comfortable with and trust in them. If not….(ready for my shameless plug) contact Suzie Coronel! Quick facts for both sides: 1. Some VA loans won’t allow the buyer to pay for the pest inspection. Typically about $65. 2. It’s best to schedule your settlements at the end of the day to allow funds to get transferred/wired. 3. No one likes to wait on responses. Be conscious of the other side and reply quickly to repairs and other determining factors. 4. At the end of the day this is business. Try not to take things personal!

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