You accepted an offer. Now what?


Accepting a buyers offer is one more step in the home selling process. The process doesn’t end until the sale closes.

Please leave the for sale sign up and the lockbox on the front door. If the offer is inspection contingent the buyer and inspector will need to get into the house.

After the inspection has been completed the seller may need to make some repairs or maybe the buyer will decide not to proceed or maybe the process will move to the next stage.

The listing agent will change the status of the property to “pending”. Once in the pending stage, the house will no longer appear as a home for sale when buyers search the internet.

Pending means that a sale is pending. Usually pending sales close but not always. Yes, sometimes things go wrong. Maybe the appraisal comes out too low or a buyer becomes unemployed.

Unless the buyer is purchasing the home with cash the next step will be the appraisal. The appraiser will make an appointment and look at the property and prepare a report.

If the appraisal comes out to an amount that is as much or more than the amount the buyer is buying the process will proceed to the next stage.

At this point, the process is in the hands of the lender and the title company. The loan process is a mystery to most of us. We don’t know what they do all day. Underwriters ask for stuff and we get it to them.

A “Sold” sign can be added to the for sale sign after contingencies have been removed. Usually, the for sale sign is left on the property until after the closing but if the homeowner wants it removed sooner they can ask.

Shortly before the closing the buyer’s may want to do a final walk through. I certainly recommend this as it protects both parties. The purpose of the walkthrough is to make sure the property is still in good condition or the same condition it was in when the offer was made.

The lockbox is usually removed during the final walkthrough or after the closing.  I like to order for sale sign removal the day of the closing which is a common practice. The sign is usually gone a few days after the closing.

Information about the actual sale price of a home is not released until after the sale has closed.

This is kind of an outline of what happens, there are more details but my intent is to explain that accepting an offer does not mean the home is sold.

Real estate is local. Business practices and rules may be different outside of Minnesota.

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