Closing on the sale of your home is undoubtedly one of the biggest life events you’ll go through. There are so many things to consider before and after signing the final paperwork that transfers the house you’ve called home for so many years to its new owner.
The process of selling a home can be daunting, especially for first-time home sellers. To make things as easy as possible for you and your family, here is a step-by-step closing on a house timeline.
The first thing you’ll want to do after you accept an offer on your house is to sign a purchase agreement. A purchase agreement is a legal contract that outlines everything from the price, to the terms of the sale and the expected closing date.
Once you’ve signed the purchase agreement and the real estate agent has taken care of the details, your closing agent or title company will open an escrow account. This is a separate account that the buyer will deposit an earnest payment into and then disburse the rest of the purchase price to the seller once the sale is finalized.
This account is held by a third-party escrow service and the only way the seller or buyer can access it is if there’s a dispute, such as if the buyer backs out of the deal or an inspection reveals problems with the home. Having an escrow account protects both you and the buyer in case anything goes wrong and the deal falls through.
Once the escrow account is open, the next step is for the buyer to schedule a home inspection. A home inspection is an examination of the interior and exterior of the house to make sure it’s up to code and in good condition. The inspector will identify if there are any problems with the house,what repairs are needed, and how much said repairs will cost. If the repairs are too costly or expensive for the seller to manage, the buyer can ask for concessions or walk away from the deal.
Once the seller receives the home inspection report and knows about the repairs that need to be made, then the home must be appraised. An appraisal is a professional opinion of the value of a property, based on a reasonable market analysis. This helps both you and the buyer know what the actual market value of the house is so neither one of you can artificially inflate or deflate the price.
Once the home inspection is complete and they get the appraisal, you’ll want to wait for the mortgage lender to complete the mortgage underwriting for the buyer. A mortgage loan is the source of financing for the purchase of a home. Your mortgage lender performs a wide range of checks to ensure the loan meets the underwriting guidelines set by the bank. These guidelines include ensuring their income, employment status and debts are within the parameters they’ve determined are safe and reasonable.
Once the lender completes the underwriting process, they will provide the lender servicing the buyer’s loan with a loan commitment letter. The loan commitment letter is essentially an agreement between the buyer and the lender which defines the contract and sets the closing date. If the buyer is unable to secure a mortgage, this could cancel the closing and the seller would have to find another buyer.
Once the mortgage underwriting process is complete, your title company will clear the title for the property. This means the title company will clear the title with the government to prepare it for sale. This is necessary as a condition of selling the property. The title company will conduct a check of the property ownership history to determine if there are any liens or other claims on the property.
In addition, they’ll also perform a title search to make sure the seller is indeed the owner of the property and there are no outstanding judgments, court orders or tax levies that could pose a problem when transferring ownership. The title search can identify any issues with the title and allow you or your real estate agent to address them before they become an issue.
At this point, the buyer will want to have the final walk through with their real estate agent to make sure everything looks and functions as agreed, and that the inspection and appraisal reports are accurate. The final walk through is exactly what it sounds like: the new homeowner takes a physical tour of their house right before closing. The purpose of the final walk through is to make sure the house that the buyer is buying is in the condition they agreed to when they bought it. During the walkthrough, the buyer party will make any corrections to inaccurate documentation to ensure there are no last minute surprises on the seller and buyer side on closing day.
Not all sellers choose to attend the final walk through. However, it can be very helpful for the buyer. This way, they will be able to identify any issues or problems with the house that aren’t detailed in the inspection report from the home inspector. For instance, a wall might have been damaged in the process of the seller vacating the property. It’s important to do a final walk through to make sure that everything in the property is exactly the way the buyers saw it from the very beginning when they did their initial appointment or home inspection.
The last step in the process is for the buyer and seller to sign paperwork during the closing. This is known as the closing and it’s when the transfer of ownership from you to the buyer takes place. Once everything is signed, you will receive a check for the balance of your home sale proceeds, minus any closing costs that were due at closing.
The closing can be a stressful process. If you’re not sure about something, you don’t have to sign it. Closely examine the paperwork and then ask your real estate agent or the title company to clarify anything you don’t understand before you sign it. If there are last-minute issues that come up, your closing agent can help smooth out any potential roadblocks.
There will be a lot of moving parts during the house-selling process and it can be a little overwhelming. The timeline above can help you make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to sell your home quickly, you can use the timeline above to help you get it sold as quickly as possible.
It is natural for buyers and sellers to have questions about the closing process. Some of the most common questions sellers have during the closing process include:
It can take a few hours for buyers to sign closing papers. However, it can take less than 20 minutes for sellers to fill out closing papers. You can save yourself some time by doing all the paperwork before you meet with the buyer if your title company allows it.
The time it takes to close on a house after the offer is accepted can vary depending on many factors. The traditional buying process where a buyer must obtain a mortgage can take two to six weeks. With the all-cash option, where a buyer is not required to have a mortgage, this can be as fast as one week.
Yes, it is possible to conduct a closing on a house in as little as two weeks. The key is to get a cash buyer that does not need financing. If the buyer does need financing, this could take longer. Plus, selling your home for cash can save thousands of dollars in closing costs.
How long after inspection closing occurs depends on what the inspector finds. If the inspector does find problems, the seller may need to engage a contractor for repairs. This can extend the process by several weeks, depending on how extensive the repairs are and how long it takes for a contractor to complete them.
If the repairs are costly or substantial, the buyer could walk away from the deal or the seller could agree to accept a lower purchase price to account for the repairs. When inspections do not find anything substantial, this process won’t add much time to the closing timeline.
The sale transaction process can take two weeks or longer, depending on how quickly you and the buyer agree to all details of the sale. If you run into issues while under contract, this can delay the closing process.
One good way to make sure that everything gets done in time is to have a timeline and checklist of what still needs to be done before closing. Sale timelines vary based on many factors like whether a mortgage is involved and if repairs need to be completed before closing.
Many sellers want to know: “How fast can I close on a house and get the funds?” There are ways to sell a house fast that save you time in between the offer and closing. You can opt to sell a house without a Realtor and to sell a house AS IS to House Buyers of America.
Sell your home directly to House Buyers of America and can skip all the hassle and months of uncertainty. Simply enter your address – and get our offer with a few simple steps.Get an Offer
Ways to Sell Your House Fast For countless homeowners, the thought of selling a house as is can be a daunting challenge. One often imagines the leisure to smoothly navigate through the home-selling journey. However, as elaborated below, life throws curveballs like: Job transfers Growing families A sudden demise in the family Financial tight spots Divorce upheavals Relocating for fresh job prospects Mounting maintenance costs Such pivotal moments demand rapid action. That's where homeowners prioritize locking in the sale of their houses swiftly. Trusted partners like House Buyers of America have an upper hand with their comprehensive resources, ensuring homeowners receive competitive, fair cash offers and fast house sales in their tight schedules. Why "Sell My House Fast For Cash" Could Be Your Answer Ever stood in your living room pondering, "Can I sell my home for cash?" Many find the start of the selling journey mystifying. Perhaps, your residence has adorned the market for ages, making you wonder, "How do I expedite the sale?" Such queries aren't solitary. For those in haste, House Buyers of America extends a lifeline. Remember, opting for a cash sale is a lifesaver when the clock's ticking. Collaborating with an iBuyer ("we buy houses" company), like House Buyers of America, shuns realtor commissions with its sleek procedures. Their proposition: an "as is" offer. And if it resonates, your cash materializes in mere days. Related: The Average Time to Sell a House Scenarios Perfect for Our Services: 1. The Inherited Abode: Inheriting a house might sound dreamy, but sometimes it's more of a responsibility, especially if co-inherited or needing extensive repairs. Instead of plunging into rentals, the swifter sale is often preferred. House Buyers of America often collaborate with such families, turning potential fixer-uppers into quick cash. 2. Downsizing for Simplicity: Life stages shift, and a desire to minimize arises. If you're resonating with the "I need to sell my house fast for simplicity's sake" sentiment, know that the condition of your home isn't a deterrent. House Buyers of America promises a quote in just ten minutes. If you've found your next nest, it's wise to seal the deal on your current residence and avoid financial strains. House Buyers of America is your ally in such ventures. Related: Selling An Inherited House What to Consider Before Selling Your House for Cash Any house sale mandates due diligence. To optimize your outcome, being informed is key. At House Buyers of America, we always advise our clientele to weigh these factors before settling for a cash buyer: Time Constraints: Situations like job relocations, unexpected inheritances, or pending divorces vary in urgency. Depending on market dynamics and the state of your home, the sale might be instant or prolonged. For those seeking an assured quick sale, a cash offer might be the golden ticket. How Much Work is Needed to Sell There’s a lot of preparation that goes into selling a home the traditional way with a real estate agent. There’s packing, renovating, fixing up the house, listing photoshoots, home staging, and open houses—the list goes on. The only way to avoid these obligations is to opt for a “sell house for cash” program. These programs, like the one we offer at House Buyers of America, provide you with a fair cash offer based on the current condition of your home—no cleaning or prep work required. We work with you every step of the way based on your unique selling situation. Who Cash Home Buyer Programs Are Right For If you want a simple and hassle-free home sale, selling a house to a cash buyer might be your best available option. House Buyers of America is here to help sellers in those situations. We offer a competitive sales price for your house AS IS, no matter its condition, saving you the time and stress that would have gone into trying to sell on the market. So, what’s the benefit? A qualified company that buys houses for cash, like House Buyers of America, has the funds to make the purchase. You also get a guarantee that the sale will go through. That's never the case with selling a house to a high-tech real estate cash buyer like House Buyers of America. Also, when you sell your home fast to a cash buyer, you know they can process the payment much more quickly because they aren’t relying on lenders or third parties. This means that your house is sold fast, and you're free to move on to your next place. Of course, while working with an iBuyer is usually the best way to sell your home quickly (for cash or otherwise), there are still several other options that might be worth exploring: Related: The Top 6 Reasons You Should Sell Your House “As Is” For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Listing This method allows homeowners to bypass real estate agents. However, the onus of managing paperwork and attracting buyers falls squarely on the homeowner. This route can often be more time-consuming than anticipated, especially if the market is slow. Real Estate Listing This method has its merits, but the time and effort involved in maintaining the house for viewings, alongside agent commission fees, can make it less appealing for those wanting to Sell Your House Fast. Doing “Whatever It Takes” Selling a house requires effort, whether you're working with an agent, promoting it on social media, or hosting open houses. But remember, more effort doesn't guarantee a faster sale. The below statistics demonstrate why this is the case: The entire length of time it takes to sell a home is more than just the number of days your house is on the market. Before your house can be listed for sale, you must do your research to ensure selling your house is the right decision and also find contractors. That takes time. 86% of home buyers finance their homes, meaning they must wait for their mortgage loan to be approved before finalizing a purchase. That adds additional time to the closing process. It takes 30 days, on average, for a mortgage to be approved, and 50 days for the sale of a house to be completed (from initial offer to closing). On top of that, if the house needs a lot of work and the buyer is getting a construction loan—like an FHA 203K loan—you can expect another 90 to 120 days for that to be approved. Why The Traditional Route Might Not Be Fast Enough Traditional house selling methods often require time, sometimes stretching from 6 months to a year. This can be problematic for those seeking a rapid solution, making a "sell my house fast" approach a more appealing alternative. Our team at House Buyers of America is passionate about providing homeowners with a convenient and rapid-fast alternative that puts cash in their pockets sooner rather than later. House Buyers of America's Sell Your House Fast Process Have you ever thought, "I need to sell my house for cash now"? House Buyers of America's process is efficient and designed for speed. This approach is particularly beneficial for those eager to progress to their next life phase without the added stress of a prolonged selling process. The Experience of Selling Your House to House Buyers of America When you work with House Buyers of America, you're working with a seasoned, reputable company. With their history of buying thousands of homes since 2001, their process is streamlined, efficient, and trustworthy. 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We make it possible for you to: Move forward with your life in a matter of days (not months or a year) Sell your home without cleaning or renovating Save money by avoiding commission fees and closing costs Walk away with cash in your pocket Why Sell Your House to House Buyers of America? In business since 2001, thousands of homes purchased We close on time You never pay any commissions (yep, none!) We work with your schedule If you sell your house to us, you have no worries, no commissions, and no delays. Why deal with the headache of staging a home, scheduling open houses and maintaining listings? Contact us now to sell your house fast and save time and money. We have bought thousands of homes since 2001. When you sell your house to us, you are dealing with a local, established company. You can visit our office and talk with us any time if you have questions or concerns. We even provide you with a real estate consultant to help you through every step of the process. Making the Right Choice for Your Needs While traditional methods might work for some, many find the efficiency and ease of a "sell house for cash" approach preferable. If a hassle-free, swift sale is what you're after, House Buyers of America might be your ideal choice. FAQ Why might someone want to sell their house swiftly? Reasons vary, from job relocations to financial challenges or even unexpected property inheritances. Is selling my house for cash a reliable option? Yes, especially when you want to sell your house fast without the regular market uncertainties. What advantages do iBuyers like House Buyers of America offer? They provide a streamlined process, no realtor commissions, and swift cash offers, among other benefits. Does the condition of my home affect the cash sale? Not with entities like House Buyers of America, as they offer to buy homes "as is." How long does it take to get a cash offer for my house? With House Buyers of America, you can get an offer in as quick as 10 minutes. Is it wise to downsize my home? It's a personal decision, often influenced by lifestyle changes, desires for simplicity, or financial considerations. What should I consider before selling my house for cash? You should assess your time constraints, the current market, your home's condition, and the reliability of your chosen cash buyer. Can I sell an inherited house for cash? Absolutely. Many opt for this to avoid the responsibilities and potential repairs of an inherited property Get Started Today There is simply no other method of selling a home that is this stress-free. We look forward to helping you sell your house as fast as possible. There’s a reason why we have so many five-star reviews—our process simply works. If you’re ready to get started on the process of selling your house fast, the quickest way to do so will be by filling out our online form or calling us at 855-336-7167. 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Cities and Counties in Maryland Where We Buy Houses Aberdeen Adelphi Annapolis Baltimore Bel-Air Beltsville Bowie Burtonsville Bushwood Catonsville Chesapeake Beach Chevy Chase Chillum Clinton Colesville College Park Columbia Crofton Darnestown Edgewater Eldersburg Elkton Essex Fells Point Fort Washington Frederick Gaithersburg Glen Burnie Greenbelt Gwynn Oak Halethorpe Havre De Grace Hyattsville Indian Head Lanham Leonardtown Lexington Park Lochearn Marlow Heights Mechanicsville Milford Mill Monkton Monrovia Montgomery County Mount Rainier Nanjemoy Olney Oxon Hill Pikesville Potomac Prince George's County Randallstown Rockville Rosedale Walkersville West River White Plains And more! We’ve worked hard to establish the best platform for quickly selling your home in Maryland. With our “We Buy Maryland Houses” program, you can quickly get your home off your hands, all for a very fair price. We’d love to chat more about finding ways to sell your Maryland property and help you achieve your long-term financial goals. Why You Should Use House Buyers of America Selling a house is stressful enough, even if you live in a very competitive state for housing like Maryland. When you add in the trials of trying to sell your house during a personal financial emergency or the emotions of an estate sale, it can be overwhelming. Let House Buyers of America buy your house; as suggested, we buy houses in Maryland and we put a lot of pride into our work. Here are just a few ways House Buyers of America can make a real difference: No Commission Yes, you read that right. House Buyers of America takes no commission when buying your home. This frees up at least 6% in the value of your home, significant savings that you can apply to your next home. With Maryland’s high real estate values, that means you could potentially save tens of thousands of dollars. With no commissions, you can be assured that you get a fair price for your home. Related: Three Tips to Sell Your House Fast for Cash Fast House Buying House Buyers of America promises to get you an offer within 10 minutes over the phone. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to sell a home in Maryland, Virginia, D.C., or any of our other markets. That means no more waiting on real estate agents to list your home and then receiving an offer from a potential buyer in weeks or months. Close in as Little as 7 Days Some companies will tell you “We buy Maryland houses in 7 days,” but they don’t have adequate capital or a fully staffed office to accomplish this. House Buyers of America’s goal is to buy houses in Maryland in as little as 7 days because we try hard to ensure we buy it as quickly as possible. We have plenty of capital—enough to buy many more houses than we’re buying now. Plus, we have a fully staffed office ready to handle any new deals. Our commitment to a speedy sale is a hallmark of House Buyers of America. Any Condition, AS IS This is not a gimmick. We buy houses AS IS in Maryland, in any condition—from a tear-down to relatively new houses. Whether it needs tons of repairs or no repairs at all, our purchases are not made based on the condition of the home. Our offers are made in cash for any condition and on an AS IS basis. When Should You Use House Buyers of America? Clients of House Buyers of America range across demographics, ages, and financial situations. We help make it possible for Maryland homeowners to achieve their financial dreams. As a result, there are certain reasons why our customers tell us why they sell their houses to us. Job Transfer Did you just get a promotion that requires you to relocate? Or maybe your local office is closing down and you have to relocate to another city quickly in order to keep your job. Whatever your job transfer needs are, we offer cash for your home and we can close quickly. Buying a New House Perhaps the thought of juggling the sale of your current home and purchasing a new one at the same time in the same local market might be creating a lot of stress. Have you considered having to have your home staged and then factor in coordinating where to live after you sell? What should you do? Put a home sale contingency in an offer to purchase a new house and risk making your offer much less competitive. Or should you buy a house first and then risk not being able to sell your current house, leaving you stuck with two mortgages? This is the age-old real estate dilemma. If you’re in this situation, you’ve come to the right place! With House Buyers of America, you get a guaranteed sale of your house and we’re flexible on the closing date (and no closing costs). After the purchase agreement is signed, your home sale is covered and you can start looking for a new home without worrying about selling your existing home. Divorce Divorce can be a huge disruptor, emotionally and financially. In most cases, the divorced couple needs to sell their house fast so they can divvy up the assets and make a clean break. Many in a divorce situation look for a “sell my house fast Maryland” company so they can sell their house without having to go through the arduous process of a traditional sale. Finding a real estate agent, renovating, cleaning, and staging the house, agreeing on a list price, negotiating the terms of the contract, etc. This is normally a stressful enough task, but if you add divorce into the mix, it feels impossible. Why not pick up the phone and get an offer in 10 minutes? Or simply fill out our online form and get an offer quickly. No need to renovate, stage, select a Realtor, and deal with people traipsing through your house and losing all of your privacy for 6-12 months. Real solutions are well within reach. There is an alternative: House Buyers of America! Financial Distress Are you in a financial bind with thousands of dollars locked away in your home? Most people do not realize they can directly access the accumulated equity of their home in their hands in as little as 7 days until they contact House Buyers of America. We offer fair prices for when you need an immediate cash infusion to stave off foreclosure, bankruptcy, or whatever life throws at you. Medical Emergency, Retired, Downsizing Some of our clients are elderly and have stayed in their homes for years, but have stumbled into a medical emergency and need the equity in their homes to pay for hospital bills. When this is the case, whether you are a homeowner or a care provider, you might need to sell your Maryland home quite quickly. Others simply want a hassle-free solution for downsizing into a smaller home and want equity in their legacy home. Estate Sales House Buyers of America have also helped thousands of people who have suddenly inherited an unwanted or unneeded property. When dealing with an estate, many heirs can’t decide or agree on when to sell the house or who will take care of the paperwork, so the house is left sitting vacant and deteriorating for months or years. Estate sales can bring out the worst in people and families often get torn apart in the process. The traditional real estate process can be complicated and often doesn’t work well for estate sales. The unique estate laws that apply in Maryland can also create some additional complications. So why not try a simple, fast, and hassle-free solution that all of your family members can agree on? Get an all-cash offer in as little as 10 minutes by contacting House Buyers of America. A Fresh Start We’ve talked about several reasons you might want to sell your Maryland house to a cash buyer. Then there are those unfortunate circumstances in life that require a complete and total liquidation of your assets when you need a speedy exit from your current home and town. By getting an all-cash, guaranteed offer from House Buyers of America and getting your house sold in as little as 7 days, you get that fresh start without waiting. That’s why we continue to be the choice of people looking to “sell house fast in Maryland,” as well as other nearby states.