The process of Contract to Close can vary from smooth sailing to turbulent, depending entirely on the dynamics between the buyer and seller. It hinges on their ability to negotiate, their reasonableness, preparedness, knowledge, and the coordination between the loan officer and their counterparts, as well as the oversight provided by the escrow officer. That’s why it is crucial to closely monitor each transaction from the moment the contract is executed until the closing and funding take place. To facilitate a seamless experience for everyone involved, please refer to the following timeline. It is advised to set reminders on your calendar for each step leading up to the closing date.
Regardless of whether you are the realtor responsible for sending the executed contract to the escrow officer or not, it is essential to follow up and ensure that all relevant documents, addendums, disclosures, and so on have been successfully delivered. This is also an opportune time to establish your transaction management file, especially if you haven’t done so already. If a file already exists, you can add any newly obtained documents to it. By organizing your file contents within a transaction management platform, you can take advantage of the embedded checklist feature. This checklist will guide you on precisely when to perform specific tasks or engage with your client or other parties involved in the transaction.
During this phase, the buyer enters their option period, which grants them time to conduct inspections and seek advice from service professionals regarding any concerns or deficiencies listed. Simultaneously, the title company initiates the delivery of items as stipulated by the contractual timeline. Whether you represent the buyer or seller, it is crucial to meticulously review any documents provided by the title company and ensure that they adhere to the specific deadlines outlined in the contract. Typically, the buyer’s due diligence encompasses their predetermined option period, which specifies a certain number of days, along with the receipt of information from third parties (such as the title company, taxing authority, or homeowners association) within the designated timeframe.
I’ve always maintained that this is the stage where things get interesting. During this process, the buyer may request various options from the seller, such as additional time for inspections, monetary compensation instead of repairs, actual repairs, or no action at all. We’ve encountered different variations of these scenarios because no contract or home is identical. Typically, the negotiation period falls within the confines of the option period, and all parties involved must reach an agreement before the option period deadline. It’s essential for buyers to recognize that sellers require sufficient time to consider and respond to requests. Pressuring sellers with last-minute demands is never advisable. Just as buyers had hours, if not days, to assess the property’s condition and make their requests, sellers also need time to evaluate and respond accordingly. Once the option period expires, so does the general negotiation window.
At regular intervals throughout the transaction, it is advisable to reach out and communicate with all relevant parties involved, including the buyer’s agent, escrow officer, loan officer, and others. This proactive approach allows you to ensure that all the components of the transaction are progressing smoothly towards the closing stage. It presents an opportunity to identify any emerging issues that could potentially cause delays or, unfortunately, jeopardize the closing altogether. By involving the appropriate individuals who can actively monitor and address potential obstacles, there is generally a chance to keep the transaction on track and swiftly resolve any issues that may arise.
Closing day is typically a joyous occasion for most individuals involved, as it marks the opening and closing of new chapters in their lives. However, the process leading up to the actual closing day begins approximately a week prior. If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, their lender, along with the closing department and title company, works behind the scenes to prepare documents and finalize financial details, usually up to a week before the closing. Given this timeline, it is crucial to promptly set and confirm the closing time with your clients immediately after acceptance or, at the latest, after the option period has expired. If you represent the seller and they are unable to attend an in-person closing, they may have the option to sign remotely. However, it is essential for them to complete this process at least one day before the actual closing day. The escrow officer will provide guidance in such situations. The exchange of keys between buyers and sellers typically occurs at the closing table or according to specific instructions after all parties have signed the necessary documents and the lender has provided funding authorization. Please note that this exchange may take a few hours after the closing, so it is advisable to establish clear expectations well in advance to ensure a smooth and satisfactory experience for all parties involved.