After my house is under contract, how long will it take to close?

If we buy your house, closing can be as soon as a title commitment is ready, usually around five days but sometimes less. If we list your house, it normally takes 30 to 45 days between the time a contract is signed and closing, but it’s a negotiable term of the contract.

The 30 to 45 day timeframe is set by the bank making the loan for the buyer. As your listing agent, we price your home to balance your expected days on the market (plus 30 to 45 days for contract to closing) with your ideal closing schedule.

Can closing be delayed?
If we’re buying, delays are highly unlikely, but possible. We pay cash, so the usual lender-related delays do not apply.

In a typical listing, even if everything goes smoothly, the lender can delay closing for any reason they deem necessary. This is highly inconvenient, but unfortunately common and out of our control. We stay on top of our client’s buyers to make sure they’re following through quickly on their obligations to the lender.

Should I buy first, or sell first?
It depends. Although some people have the luxury of buying a new house without selling their existing home, most of the time the best case scenario is buying and selling on the same day. We can help you decide what’s best for you.

We can negotiate a purchase contract with a contingency. The contingency will allow you time to sell your house before you’re obligated to buy the new one. It’s best to have your existing home under contract to sell, not just listed, before entering a contingency contract.

Are you picky? If there aren’t many homes that meet your criteria, you may want to hold off on listing your home until you find something you want to buy. On the other hand, if your existing house might be hard to sell, it’s probably best not to get your heart set on a different house before you get the one you currently own under contract.

How much room should I allow for negotiation in my asking price?
This is another area where a real estate professional’s advice can be considered priceless. The ratio of a list price to sale price varies widely. We’ll address the data for your particular property and area before we finalize your list price.

What are the typical costs associated with closing?
Costs are outlined in the real estate sales contract and the lender’s documents, but here’s what you can generally expect to see and pay for on the closing statement. If we buy your house, we usually pay both the “buyer” and “seller” costs listed here.

  • Buyer: Survey, appraisal, pre-paid interest, pre-paid insurance and/or property tax escrow, pre-paid HOA dues/transfer fee, flood certification, credit reporting fee, lender required title insurance (in addition to the seller paid portion), recording/filing fees for mortgage documents, courier/copy fees, closing fee, origination fee/points
  • Seller: Title insurance policy, real estate commissions, property tax through the closing date, HOA dues/transfer fee, tax certificate fee, courier/copy fees, closing fees, home warranty for buyer, recording/filing fees for release of mortgage lien

How does your “buy my house” program work?
Our preference is to pay all cash and close as quickly as possible. We’re investors, so our offer isn’t a fit for everyone. If you want to get the most for your property, a traditional listing is generally better since someone who plans to live in the house will nearly always pay more than an investor.

Some sellers have us list their property first but want us as a backup. When you call or email us with your specific information, we quickly outline your options and the associated numbers with no obligation.

Do you pay retail value? How much will you pay?
We pay all of the closing costs involved in the sale, and when you consider those costs can be 15% of “retail,” our offer may be comparable to what you would take home if we list your property. We can also close before you have to pay your next payment, taxes, insurance, or maintenance. Our quick sale program isn’t for everyone, but we will clearly outline all of your options. Your best interest is our first priority.

What if I have no equity?
If you owe what your home is worth (or more) we can help. Avoid foreclosure by contacting us and starting the process immediately. If we list the house, your bank might be willing to take less than what you owe as payment in full. Foreclosure in Texas is a very quick process.

Can you help me if…?
The short answer is yes, we help people in all sorts of situations. We solve real estate problems: major repairs, foreclosure, divorce, tenant issues, estate situations, and many more. We’re friendly, honest straight-shooters.

Who surveys and appraises the property?
Generally, the buyer or their lender will choose a licensed surveyor and appraiser.

What is earnest money?
Earnest money is a deposit given by the buyer to the seller to demonstrate how serious they are about the property. The closing office places the money in their escrow account until closing, when it is credited toward the buyer’s purchase price. If a buyer backs out of a contract AFTER the option period, the earnest money is generally non-refundable and the seller may be entitled to collect it.

What is an option fee?

An option fee is a non-refundable fee a buyer offers a seller as incentive to enter into an option period. An option period sets up a time period where the buyer is NOT obligated to buy, but the seller IS obligated to sell. A home inspector and/or contractors will visit the house during the option period to assess the home. If the buyer backs out during the option period, the seller keeps the option fee, but if not the money is generally credited to the buyer at closing.

When is the best time to list a house for sale?
Once you’ve made the decision to sell, you should give yourself as much time as possible to sell. In Austin, March through June are the busiest months; November through January are the slowest. Marketing your home in November or December doesn’t mean you won’t sell it.

There are buyers looking every day of the year, and sometimes this can work to your advantage given that the market is typically quieter at that time of the year. You could have less competition.

How long should it take to sell?
The time your home takes to sell will depend on the price or condition, as well as various outside factors, including the condition of the economy, the supply of comparable homes and demand for homes like yours.

We think 20 to 30 days is the ideal; if it goes too quickly you’ve probably underpriced it (although it could have been a lucky break) and if it takes too long to sell it’s often because it’s overpriced.

Should we be home when the house is shown?
If it’s at all possible, NO. Being at home when a house is being shown can make a buyer feel rushed and uncomfortable. You wouldn’t want to criticize someone’s drapery selections in front of them, but they might be important to you and your spouse when you’re considering one house over another. Make them feel at home by going away!

Why don’t I see you holding open houses?
Nationally, only 2% of buyers bought homes as the result of seeing it a a public open house. Most open house visitors are curious neighbors or people looking for ideas, not buyers.

Broker tours are a critical part of our marketing process. A broker open house allows you to gain mass exposure in a very short amount of time. We also tend to get excellent feedback when we get 10 or 15 active agents looking at a house together.

Have a different question?
Email us. We’ll answer just as quickly as possible.