Contract to Closing Checklist

sale pending


You did it! You’re now under contract. Below are the next few steps you will need to take in order to close on time. Most of them are time sensitive. Please read through the following steps and call, text, or email if you have any further questions. 


  1. Insurance  Typically the buyer has 10 business days to find acceptable insurance. Finding the best and most affordable insurance quote can greatly affect your monthly payment. See our “recommendation” tab for local recommended insurance agents.
  2. Home Inspection We highly recommend all clients obtain a home inspection and under the terms of a typical contract, the home inspection must be completed within 10 business days after the acceptance of terms (going under contract). Once the home inspection report has been completed and delivered the buyer has 3 days to negotiate with the seller to repair items on the inspection report. The buyer can back out of the contract and receive a full refund of their earnest money if they and the seller are unable to reach an agreement on repairs to be completed. Or, if the buyer is just unhappy with what they find on the inspection report they may also withdraw from contract and get their earnest money back. If the seller agrees to repair the items of concern, the buyer has the right to have the inspector re-inspect the property for a small fee. Home inspections fees are typically paid before closing and most cost between $300-$400. You can use the inspector of your choice, but if you would like, we have a great list of preferred inspectors we work with on a regular basis. Some of which we ourselves have personally used in the past and are happy to recommend.
  3. Other Inspections Depending on the property and contract terms, some properties and lenders require additional inspections. Ask your lender if your loan requires a well or septic inspection. Also, some buyers choose to obtain a survey, pool inspection, etc. Make sure you get these inspections done in the time frame negotiated.
  4. Appraisal A cash buyer is not required to get an appraisal. If you are obtaining a loan however, the lender will require one.  Once the property passes inspection, and requested repairs have been completed, the appraisal is ordered by the buyer’s lender. The lender will typically have you sign an authorization at the beginning of the loan process to order an appraisal. So if there are home inspections issues that are still unresolved by the time the appraisal is ready to be ordered, it it important to let your lender know. NOTE: Typically you don’t want to order the appraisal until the inspection has been completed. If you back out due to the inspection, you will have paid for the inspection and the appraisal on a home your are no longer purchasing! Also, the appraiser cannot be chosen by the lender, the buyer, or the Realtor. The appraiser will be randomly chosen by the lending companies automatic system. If the property does not appraise for value, there are really 3 options. The seller can either renegotiate for a lower purchase price that reflects the appraised value (most common), the buyer can pay the difference out of pocket between appraised value and contract price, or the buyer can back out of the contract and receive a refund of their earnest money. Appraisals typically cost between $450 – $550 and the fees must be paid before they are ordered. Once the appraisal is ordered, it may take 1 – 2 weeks for the appraisal to be completed.
  5. Termite Inspection Unless otherwise negotiated in the contract, the termite inspection is typically the last inspection step completed in the purchase process. A Wood Destroying Termite Report (WDIR) has an expiration date and must not expire before closing day. Typically, the seller will pay for the termite inspection but if you would like to purchase your own, you can. See our “recommendations” tab.
  6. Closing DisclosureThe closing attorney or lender will send the buyer a “closing disclosure”, showing the exact amount of funds the buyer will need to bring to closing. Any funds brought to closing must be in the form of a certified check. You will need to choose a closing attorney the day you are under contract. Your closing attorney is very important. This is the person who will do a title examination, correct any title issues, and record your deed. If you do not have a real estate closing attorney, we have a list of great ones we highly recommend you take advantage of.
  7. Final Walk Through After the seller has officially moved out, the buyer will complete a final walk through to make sure no damage has been done during the moving process. If the property is new construction, buyer will complete at least two walk throughs to make sure all items negotiated have been properly completed. Let your Realtor know when your available to complete the final walk through.
  8. Closing Day Be prepared! Unless you’re a cash buyer, closing typically takes 1 -1.5 hours. On closing day, anyone signing documents will need to bring their valid photo ID and a certified check for any funds needed to close. If you are married or purchasing a property jointly with another party, your spouse or the other party must be present to sign documents as well.