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Seller Contract to Close – What Sellers Should Expect

What should sellers expect when they are under contract?  Sellers can expect a buyer to do one or many inspections such as a home inspection, termite inspection, roof, or pool inspection. The buyer’s lender will also schedule an appraisal of the property.  Sellers need to make their houses available for these inspections. This may mean gathering up children and pets to vacate the house. Seller Contract to Close – What Sellers Should Expect?  Read on!

Seller Contract to Close - What Sellers Should Expect



1. Complete The Property Seller Disclosure Statement (SPDS) – What Sellers Should Expect

The seller is required to provide seller disclosures to buyers within 3 days of an accepted purchase contract. Most agents ask sellers to complete the SPDS at the beginning of the listing process.  Since this is a very important 7-page document, sellers should have plenty of time to complete it.  Also, information on this disclosure can alert a buyer to questions they may want to ask their home inspector.

Seller Contract to Close – What Sellers Should Expect

2. The Buyer Will Schedule Inspections (home, termite, roof, etc)

Most buyers will schedule a home inspection.  The purchase contract in Arizona allows the buyer a 10 day home inspection.  The day after the contract is fully executed starts day one of the inspection period. During this time, the buyer must schedule any inspection that is important to them.  Most buyers in Arizona schedule a home and termite inspection.   As a seller, be sure all light bulbs are working in all fixtures.  Be sure the home inspector can access all areas, such as the garage. Seller Contract to Close - What Sellers Should Expect It is fine to have items in the garage, but the inspector will need to check the functionality of the garage door.  Be sure there is clear access if the inspector will need to access the attic from the garage. Be sure the access is not blocked to any access doors from the garage.

Sellers should plan to leave the house during the buyer’s inspection.  The home inspector will take from 2 – 4 hours to complete the inspection.  Typically a buyer and their agent will arrive at the house at the end of the inspection for a walk through with the home inspector. Be sure to remove any dogs or cats during the inspection.  A home inspector is in and out of the house, checking doors, lights, the exterior, etc.  You don’t want your pet to escape.  Also, you don’t want your dog to bite the inspector!

3. Will A Buyer Ask For Repairs After Reviewing The Home Inspection?

In Arizona, buyers are required to provide the seller with a copy of the home inspection.  Along with the inspection report, you will likely get a repair request.  You will have five days to respond to the request.  You can agree to make all the requested repairs or refuse to do any.  Sellers can also agree to some items and decline the repair of others.  There are times when a seller will offer a buyer credit in lieu of actually making the repairs.  If the seller does not agree to complete all requested repairs (or come to an agreement with the buyer for a buyer credit) the buyer can cancel the contract and have their earnest money refunded.  Sellers also need to understand that if the buyer does cancel, the next buyer will do a home inspection, and the same items will likely come up again.


4. Ensure Your Buyer’s Loan is Progressing – What Sellers Should Expect?

The Arizona purchase contract requires a buyer to submit a loan prequalification form with their initial offer.  The contract also requires the buyer to submit a loan status update 10 days after the contract is executed.  After this, buyers should provide a weekly update (provided by the buyer’s lender) so the seller knows the buyer’s loan is moving along and the buyer is providing requested documents to their lender as needed. Most seller’s agents are looking for the weekly update to ensure everything with the buyer is on schedule for the closing.

5. Do Sellers Need to Complete Agreed Upon Repairs? Seller Contract to Close – What Sellers Should Expect

Once the seller has agreed to make repairs, the next step is to get the repairs completed in a “workmanlike manner’ according to the Arizona purchase contract.  Sellers are also required to submit any paid receipts evidencing the repairs 3 days prior to closing.Seller Contract to Close - What Sellers Should Expect  Hopefully, a seller had a home inspection on the property prior to placing it on the market.  This will let the seller know what items will likely show up on the buyer’s inspection.  When sellers do a pre-inspection they are able to get repairs completed and have time to get multiple estimates if needed.

6. Does the Seller Need to Make the House Available for The Appraiser?

Appraisers typically are at a house for about 30 minutes.  They will look at all rooms, measure the rooms, and look at the exterior of the property.  The appraiser is looking at the house to understand the property condition and updates, so they can value the property.  Appraisers typically look at 3 active listings and 3 properties that have closed.  They are looking to compare your house to “comparable” homes.  If you have a 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom, single level home with a pool, the appraiser will look for those features in other properties near you. You don’t need to leave the house for the appraisal but be sure your pets are secure.

?   How do you terminate a real estate contract? Seller Contract to Close – What Sellers Should Expect

A buyer can terminate a purchase contract in several ways.

  • After a home inspection – if the inspection identifies too many repairs for the buyer OR the buyer and seller can not come to terms on the repairs. Then, the buyer can cancel and receive a refund of earnest money.
  • If the home doesn’t appraise at contract value – If the home appraises less than what is on the purchase contract, the buyer can cancel and receive a refund of earnest money.
  • The buyer’s loan is denied – if, for example, a buyer loses their job or the lender is otherwise unable to approve their loan, the buyer can cancel and receive a refund of earnest money.
  • The buyer reviews the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), the buyer can cancel and receive a refund of earnest money.).

❓  Can a Seller Back out of a Real Estate Contract?

Typically no.  Once under contract, a seller can not just decide they no longer want to sell.  A seller with remorse could refuse to make any repairs in hopes the buyer would cancel.The seller could also refust to reduce to price if the appraisal comes in under contract value.



?   Can you cancel a real estate contract before closing? What Sellers Should Expect!

Buyers and sellers can cancel a contract before closing by mutual agreement or if the buyer determines there are inspection or appraisal issues.  There are timeframes stated in the contract that need to be met that the buyer and their agent need to pay attention to.


7. Should I Complete any Documents the Title Agency Sends me?

Once you are under contract, the title company receives a copy of the purchase contract and the buyer’s earnest money.  They will send you documents to complete.  Be sure to complete and return these in a timely manner.  One of the key documents asks where you want the proceeds from the sale of the house wired.  You may also elect to receive a check.  Keep in mind that many banks today place a hold on large checks, so if you need these funds immediately, consider having funds wired.  Also, the title company will ask if you have a loan on the property.  If so, you will need to provide the lender and loan number information. Also, you will need to sign a document to authorize the title company to contact the lender to obtain your loan pay off.

 You may also enjoy reading,   10 Things to know when selling a home

8. What is a Title Agency Title Search for a Seller Contract to Close?

The title company will conduct a title search on your property.  This search identifies any liens on the property. The title search will show your current loan, but it will also show any other liens on your property.  These could be liens placed by the IRS or any mechanic’s liens for work performed.  For example, if you had remodeling work done on your house, but didn’t pay the contract, the contractor could have placed a lien on the property.

9. When Should I Schedule Movers?

Once your house is under contract you will want to contact movers for estimates and scheduling if you are planning to use a moving company.  Spring and summer months are especially busy for moves. The closing date on your contract is the date when ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Seller Contract to Close - What Sellers Should Expect

This means you need to be completely out of the house the day prior to closing.

10. When do I Schedule a Time to Sign Your Closing Documents?

Sellers can sign their closing documents several days prior to the closing.  Buyers have to wait for loan documents to be prepared and sent to the title company, but not sellers. Be sure the title company has your information to ensure your seller proceeds are sent where you want them.

11.  When Should I Schedule Your Utilities to be turned off the day After Closing?

The buyers will be scheduling the utilities on in their name as of the closing day.  Do not turn off your utilities early as buyers need to complete a final walkthrough on your house, and the utilities need to be turned on.  Even if you move out several days ahead of closing, leave utilities on.  With no one living there, your cost should be minimal.  It is important a buyer can turn on lights and flush toilets as part of the final walkthrough.

12. Don’t Leave Anything Behind! Seller Contract to Close – What Sellers Should Expect

Now that you think you have everything packed and cleaned, take a final walk through the house.  Did you leave any dishes in the dishwasher?  If you left a washer and dryer, check these too!  What about any closet or storage area.  Sometimes it helps to have a friend take a walk through and help check.  It is easy to miss a whole cupboard or shelf.  With a move, you may be dealing with packers and movers, easily getting distracted and forgetting to check an area.  Don’t forget the outside.  Sellers have been known to miss patio furniture or items on the side of the house.

13. Leave The House Like You Would Want To Find It

Be sure to leave your old house clean for buyers.  If possible hire a professional cleaner to go through the vacant house.  Bathrooms should be spotless.  Floors should be vacuumed or mopped.  Any appliances in the kitchen should be clean from the oven to the refrigerator (if you left it).

Leave your house and mailbox keys on a counter or in a kitchen drawer.  Leave a note with the location of the mailbox (if there isn’t door delivery) and the mailbox number.  Don’t forget the garage door opener.  If you have a keypad on the garage door, write that down as well.  Don’t forget any other keys the buyer would need, such as a key if there is a lock on the electrical panel (in Arizona these are usually on the outside of the house and often locked)/ Do you have a key to an outside storage area?  What about a community pool or clubhouse?  The buyer also appreciates information on trash day schedules.

Seller Contract to Close – What Sellers Should Expect.  We hope you found several pointers to help get your house sold quickly!

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Keller Williams Realty Phoenix

Contact the Shirley Coomer Group at Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living

Mountain Park Ranch Real Estate

Call or Text: 602-770-0643 for more Real Estate information


Seller Contract to Close – What Sellers Should Expect

Seller Contract to Close - What Sellers Should Expect
Article Name
Seller Contract to Close - What Sellers Should Expect
What sellers should know once they have a contract on their house. Schedule an inspection, schedule repairs, provide the title agents information on your loan. Schedule your move early
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Shirley Coomer at Mountain Park Ranch Real Estate
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