What is your typical selling timeline and why it’s important to you as a potential seller? If you’re selling a property, you really need to know what’s the next steps and What am I looking forward to. How soon do I need to move out of this property? How soon do I need to turn over the keys to the new buyer?
That’s what I’m going to try to lay out for you. Hopefully it’s pretty clear through my timeline sketch here. When you first put a piece of property on the market and you tell your realtor, let’s go ahead and let’s sell this property, the first thing that your realtor is responsible for doing is marketing and selling the property. Your realtor’s going out and they’re putting the property on the MLS, on Zillow, on Trulia, these different marketing websites, they’re putting it on their own company website. They’re going out there and they’re doing open houses, doing private showings. They’re trying to find that potential buyer for you.
Once that potential buyer is found, and by found what we mean is, a potential buyer has seen the property through an open house, through some type of marketing venue and they’ve now placed an offer on the property. You realtor at the time of receiving that offer is going to come to you, they’re going to negotiate with the potential buyer on your behalf to get the highest sales price with the best terms possible. Once you, the seller, and that potential buyer have agreed to a price, agreed to terms, we call that day one. That is your offer to purchase day, that is the day that the offer, or OTP, has been accepted. That starts your timeline.
You have agreed to sell for a particular price, the buyer has agreed to buy for a particular price, which starts your 45 day approximate timeline. From there, in a typical situation your buyer is going to go into their 10 day home inspection window. Most offers are submitted with a 10 day, standard 10 day window and this allows the buyer to now enter your property, and to your tenant units and to, if it’s a multi-family enter the property to inspect the home with a licensed home inspector, with a contractor, to make sure that the systems are working, to make sure that the roof is okay, to make sure that the windows operate.
They’re going to do a full inspection to make sure that the property is truly what was being presented to them and it is in good working shape. At the end of that 10 day period, you can go with the buyer, it can go in a couple different ways, the buyer can say, I love the property and I want to move forward. That’s what we hope that the buyer does. The buyer can say, there were some things I didn’t really agree with at the potential property, this is not the right property for me, I’m going to back out of this transaction, or the buyer can say yes, I like the property but the price that we agreed to on day one, I don’t feel like that price is appropriate any longer.
The heating system is not working the way it should be, or it’s working but it’s much older than I anticipated. The roof is fine, but it’s much older, it’s 20 years into it’s life and is going to need to be replaced. The buyer has three options, either back out, move forward or renegotiate after that 10 day period. They’ve done their home inspection, let’s say hypothetically we’ve renegotiated and you both, the seller and the buyer, have come to an agreement on price. After that, you as a seller, the buyer, would both hire attorneys and you would go into what’s called the purchase and sales contract, or P & S.
What that does, it solidifies the deal and puts all of the offer information and the final price with the terms into a nice contract that the attorneys can use and it helps us move forward into the sale with a more concrete contract than the offer and purchase. The buyer is also going to put down a larger deposit this time and say yes, this is the property that I want, I’m now going to pursue my mortgage. You’ve had day one, you’ve had your home inspection period, we’ve renegotiated the price, we’ve gone and we’ve hired two attorneys, we’re gone onto purchase and sales.
The buyer is moving forward, the seller is moving forward. Now for you as a seller, from that day 15 to day 45, it’s about a 30 day window, I’ll describe to you a little bit about what the buyer is doing. The buyer in this particular situation is putting their mortgage together. They’re going back to the mortgage company and they’re saying, I found the property that I want, I’m submitting my taxes now, I’m submitting my other documents and the mortgage company is processing all that information to make the distribution, to pay you for the property and to put a lien on the buyer’s property.
You on the other hand, you as the seller, are working with your realtor to do three main things. One is the bank of the buyer is going to send out an appraiser to appraise the property to make sure that the property is worth the amount of money that you have agreed upon. Your realtor is going to make sure that the appraiser has access to the property and that the appraisal is properly done for the bank. The realtor, your realtor is also going to work with the local fire department to make sure that you have a smoke certificate.
Any time a property is being sold, the property needs to come with a certificate from the Boston or local municipality saying that the smoke detectors are in working order. Your realtor is going to help you cover that and you also have to get a final water reading. What are you paying for water bills, at the closing day you want to make sure that all your water bills have been paid and leaving the new buyer, the new owner of that home with a clean balance, a clean water lien with the local municipality or local water department.
Day one, day 10, day 15 and then finally we get to day 45, sometimes there is delays depending on holidays, sometimes it’s bumped up depending on if the buyer can submit their mortgage documents sooner but it’s typically a 45 day timeline from the time that you receive that offer to the time that you get to closing day. At the closing table you would exchange keys with the buyer, you would get the check from the closing attorney for the balance, assuming that your mortgage will be paid off, all the liens will be paid off on the property and whatever is left over you would receive as the potential seller.
Again, when you’re selling a property you typically have about a 45 day timeline from the day that you receive an offer, that offer to purchase is accepted to the day that you close and the new buyer is now the owner of that potential property.