House for sale. COURTESY PHOTO BY CHERYL MAJOR

MAJOR’S REAL ESTATE TIPS: How Long Until Closing?

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Editor’s Note: This is the launch of a new column by Realtor Cheryl A. Major, who also writes our ongoing health column. A Westford resident, Major will contribute real estate tips to the WestfordCAT News website weekly.

Once I have an accepted offer, how long until closing?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from buyers and sellers. The answer is…it depends.  If it’s a cash sale where there is no waiting for financing to be approved, you may close in as quickly as four weeks.  If an extended closing is preferable to both buyer and seller, you may close in three months or more.  Most often though, financing is involved, and in that case the more conventional time frame is usually six to eight weeks; eight weeks being a more comfortable timeframe most of the time.

These are the main events to be accomplished during that eight week time frame between an accepted offer and the closing of escrow:

  • Fully executed offer – original offer to purchase signed by both buyer and seller;
  • Home Inspection, including structural, pest, radon and well test results, if applicable (within seven – 10 days);
  • Any negotiations on price and/or repairs as a result of the inspections;
  • Fully executed Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S), which is a more detailed “restatement” of the offer (usually 10 – 14 days after fully executed offer);
  • Application for Mortgage by buyer;
  • Appraisal of the property to be purchased;
  • Mortgage commitment received (approximately 30 days after fully executed P&S);
  • Title search done;
  • Smoke/CO certification obtained by the seller from the Fire Prevention Department;
  • Final walk-through;
  • Closing…yay!!

Within those 11 points, there is much to do.  Many bits of information will need to be provided to the lender.  When you think there is nothing else they could possibly ask for, they will ask for more; trust me…I’ve been doing this for over 20 years…they will ask.

There’s a lot to do listed above, and that doesn’t include packing, arranging for moving services, transfering utilities and final utility bills.

It’s a stressful process… for everyone… but we Realtors help our buyers and sellers get it done all the time.

Helping You Find a Home You Love!

Cheryl Major, Realtor

Cheryl Major lives in Westford and is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @WestfordAreaRE. She is a full time residential Realtor with more than 25 years experience.

Questions?  Email Cheryl at [email protected] and be sure to put Real Estate Question in the subject line.  Your question and its answer will be included in a future article or will be responded to directly.