home inspection

Common Seller Questions About Home Inspections, Repairs, and Closing Process

Explore common questions related to Sellers home inspections, repair negotiations, and the closing process in Alabama. .

sold sign top agent helping sellers in north alabama
June - 8, 2023
6 min read
Last updated on Jun 30, 2023

In this post, we'll provide clear answers and insights to help you understand the real estate process when selling your home in Huntsville, Madison, or North Alabama.Below, you will find more information about home inspections, repair negotiations, appraisals, and the closing process. Navigating these aspects of real estate transactions can often be overwhelming.

From Contract to Closing
  • Once you have accepted the offer on your home in Huntsville, Madison, or North Alabama, The Buyers agent will schedule a private home inspection Typically within 10 working days of the offer being accepted and signed by all parties (check you insoection addendum).

  • Once the home inspection is complete and repairs are made, the buyer's lender will arrange for a home appraiser to visit your home . The appraiser's role is to determine the value of the property, ensuring that it aligns with the loan amount. You will be notified when the appraisal is scheduled, and the appraiser will spend around 45 minutes to 2 hour at your home, taking pictures, and gathering information for their appraisal report.

  • The buyer will receive the results of the appraisal typically 3 to 10 days after the appraiser has visited your home. While the buyer is not obligated to share the appraisal value with you, you can find out if the home appraised successfully.

  • If the home appraises at the agreed value, there is no need to worry. However, if the appraisal comes in lower, there are several options to consider. If the buyer did not include an appraisal gap in the contract, as the seller, you can choose to reduce the price to match the appraised value, ask the buyer to bring additional funds to the closing table, or sign a mutual release and return the earnest money, effectively releasing the buyer from the sales contract. In some cases, the appraiser may note certain repairs as a condition to close. It is important to address these repairs promptly to avoid any closing delays.

  • When packing, it is important to leave behind fixtures and items mentioned in the sales contract. Paragraph 9 of our sales contract covers the systems, equipment, and appurtenances that should remain in the home. Typically, items such as TV mounts, window treatments, drapes, blinds, light fixtures, attached mirrors, drapery rods, attached shelving, fireplace doors, screens, storm windows, and attached speakers will stay in the home unless otherwise stated in the contract. For example, if you have a family heirloom chandelier that you want to take with you, ensure that it is specifically excluded in the sales contract.

  • Contact all of your home's service providers and utility companies to cancel all services. Keep in mind that financed sales contracts usually require the seller to keep utilities on through the date of closing, and if they have been turned off, they may need to be turned back on. Failure to comply with this requirement can be considered a breach of contract, unless all parties have agreed otherwise in writing.

  • One of the final steps in selling your home is ensuring that your buyers are "Clear To Close." This usually happens one or two days before the closing date. Being "Clear To Close" means that the buyers have received approval from the lender's underwriter to proceed with purchasing your home.

  • A final walk-through will be scheduled typically a day or even few hours before the closing. During this walk-through, the buyers will ensure that the home is in the same condition as when they made the offer. It is your responsibility as the seller to leave the home clean and free of debris. While it is common courtesy to hire a cleaning company for a move-out cleaning, it is not a requirement according to paragraph 4 of the HAAR financed Sales contract. Don't forget to keep all utilities on through the closing for this final walk-through.

  • Prior to a real estate closing, the following documents and items should be completed:

    1. Signed contract, including addendums
    2. Contact information for Buyers, Sellers, and Realtors
    3. Buyer's Mortgage Lender/Broker/Banker information
    4. Homeowners Association contact information (if applicable)
    5. Copy of Termite Letter (if needed)
    6. Loan payoff information for the Seller, including contact information for each loan and relevant account numbers
    7. Determine if a survey is needed
    8. Home Warranty Information (if applicable)
    9. Copies of Deeds, Mortgages, Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, or Corporate Documents related to the parties
    10. Buyer's hazard insurance agent information
    11. List of repairs and associated invoices (if any)
    12. Approval of Power of Attorney by closing attorney and Borrower's lender (if applicable)
  • Finally, it's closing day! All individuals who will be signing documents need to bring the following to the closing table:

    • Two forms of identification (e.g., driver's license, state ID, social security card, passport, insurance card. Social Security numbers/tax identification numbers, Wire instruction for disbursement, and on rare occasion the Notarized Power of Attorney (original).


Frequently asked questions

1. Can I be at home during the home inspection?

Yes and no. The polite thing would be to leave the premises to allow the home inspector and buyer privacy to look around without feeling awkward if the seller is present. If you have a valid reason for staying home, no worries, just let us know so we can communicate that to the buyer upfront.

2. Am I able to counter a request for repairs?

Absolutely! You can also offer a dollar amount as a credit to the buyer in lieu of repairs and/or offer a home warranty.

3. Can I remove the lockbox/Supra from the door once I am under contract?

It is best to leave the Supra outside for authorized personnel to gain entry during the entirety of the transaction. It is possible we may need access to the home when you are not home, and the key is one of the only ways in. Rest assured that we are monitoring everyone who opens up the lockbox. Only a member of the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors can open up the Supra.

4. Should I start packing immediately?

If you have a verified cash offer, absolutely yes! If not, it is best to wait until after the appraisal results are in.

5. Is the closing date set in stone?

The closing date is treated more like a guideline. It is possible to have closing delays caused by mother nature, the lender, appraiser, etc. For the most part, 95% of transactions close on time, but there can be exceptions.

6. When is the closing date finalized?

Typically, once the buyer meets all the requirements, the bank will issue a clear to close, allowing the funding of the transaction to proceed.

7. How can I get in touch with Becca's Client Care Coordinator?

You can get in touch with our Client Care Coordinator via email at Hello@BeccaTravis.com

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