- Before starting their home search, buyers call a lending institution to get pre-qualified and set up an appointment for a pre-approval.
- Buyer makes an offer in writing accompanied by a check to show good faith, usually $500 to $1,000
- Listing and/or Selling Real Estate Agent presents offer to owner.
- Offer is accepted, rejected, or countered.
- Owner presents counter offer to Real Estate Agent.
- Selling Real Estate Agent presents counter offer to prospective buyer.
- Agreement on price and terms reached by both buyer and seller (must be signed by all parties to be binding). A verbal agreement is not binding.
- Home inspection, termite, and any other tests are performed as soon as possible and are paid for by the buyer. Call your agent with date and time so he/she can confirm with the seller.
- Listing Real Estate Agent prepares Purchase and Sale Agreement. At this time you may elect to have an attorney review this for you, give names & number to the Realtor.
- Upon signing of agreement, the buyer gives real estate agent the balance agreed upon. This is a certified check made out to the Listing Office.
- Real estate agent puts full deposit in an escrow bank account.
- Real estate agent has seller sign Purchase and Sale Agreement.
- Buyer makes sure lending institution has all the documents required to obtain a mortgage commitment.
- Real estate agent forwards any necessary paperwork to bank and to buyer's attorney.
The following procedures should be exercised if you are going to try to sell your property directly:
If someone calls on your advertisement, get their name and phone number and tell them you will call them right back. You want to get as much information about your caller as you can to qualify them as a possible buyer.
Do not put a "For Sale by Owner" sign on your property. This invites strangers to come to your door at any time of the day or night and also relaxes any "crime watch" on the part of your neighbors regarding strangers being on your property.
Alert your neighbors that you are selling your home directly. Ask them to be more aware of stranger activity on your property.
Remember that just because you do not put anything except your phone number in the advertisement, finding your address is a relatively simple thing to do. There are many cross-reference directories and web based programs readily available that can be used to gain an address based solely on a phone number.
Never show your home unless another adult is present.
Make strict rules with your children that they are not to let any strangers in under any circumstances! Adolescent children who do not understand the situation and are trying to be helpful can easily be persuaded.
Do not give people any indication as to when your property will be left unattended. For instance, "We can only show our home in the evening since we both work." or "We are going away for the weekend."
After showing people through your property, recheck all the locks on exterior doors, windows and basement entries. It only takes a second for someone to unfasten these.
Do not demonstrate burglar alarm systems, its power source location or cut-off switches. Be cautious of anyone wanting such a demonstration before actually purchasing the property.
We hope this information will be helpful to you and that your move will be a safe one.