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What You Need to Know About a ‘Pending’ Home Sale

If you’ve been out house hunting, you may have noticed some for sale signs with “sale pending” on them.  What does it mean when a sale is pending?

A home sale is pending after a seller has accepted an offer and the contract between the seller and the buyer has been signed.  When the home sale is pending, it’s no longer considered active on the multiple listing service (MLS).  In the Tampa Bay area, the time-frame in which the deal is pending is typically anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks with the average being 6 weeks.  This ‘pending’ period is often referred to as the ‘due diligence period’ when a property is inspected, appraised and its public record is checked to be sure there aren’t any legal issues. 

First-Time Home Buyers’ Guide – What is Due Diligence

Once a sale is pending, the buyer needs to start preparing for the closing.  The best way for the buyer to do this is to make sure the necessary professionals are on hand, including the mortgage lender, title insurance company, Realtor, and inspector.   Within 5 days of the purchase contract being signed, the formal application for the loan is submitted to the lender.   An appraiser researches the house and area to determine the property’s Fair Market Value. The title agent will comb through the home’s public documents to make sure there is nothing that could affect sale of the home.  This period is also the right time for the buyer to hire a home inspector who closely examines the condition of the house to make sure there are no deal breakers.  If both parties are ready to move forward and all issues with the home inspection and appraisal are completed, all that’s left to do is to wait until closing day.

The Five Most Common Home-Buying Contingencies, Explained

After the contract is signed, the seller waits for the appointments for the home inspection & appraisal.  The buyer’s agent typically will schedule the inspection.   The buyer’s lender will schedule the appraisal.  The seller can choose to be around for these appointments to allow people in or may decide not to be present for any of it. 

It’s important to note that once the contract has been signed, it is a binding contract between buyer & seller.  If issues are found during the home inspection in the due diligence period, the seller can choose to make the buyer requested repairs or not.  For example, the seller can choose not to make repairs on things that surfaced during the home inspection particularly if they are considered ‘cosmetic’.  Most sellers agree to make repairs that are considered mechanical, structural or safety issues.  The seller can also refuse to accept a lower sales price if the property appraises for lower than the contract price.  The contract can ‘fall apart’ if negotiations do not go well & a compromise is not reached.  It’s vital to have an experienced Realtor skilled at negotiations who will help you through the process whether you are buying or selling.

Just before closing, the last step during the pending sale period is for the seller to move out of the home and leave it in good condition.  The Florida Association of Realtors AS IS Purchase & Sales contract calls for the home to be ‘swept clean’ by the seller.  The buyers can do a final walk-though the day prior to or the day of closing.  Moving can be stressful but when the due diligence period & the closing goes smoothly, it’s a joyful occasion for both the buyer & seller!

Are you ready to SELL your home?  Call the TAMPA BAY real estate professionals, Linda & Craig Nowicke at Tampa Realty Now with RE/MAX ACR ELITE and let them assist you in getting your home STAGED, PHOTOGRAPHED and SOLD for the highest possible price!  CALL THEM TODAY at 813-728-3880 or 813-675-5030.

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