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Accepted Contract? Not Over Yet!


Finding the right home and the buyer and seller agreeing to terms can be exhilarating and worth celebrating. However, as any experienced Realtor will tell you, the signed contract is just the start of the journey to closing. It is essential that from contract to close you and your Realtor track the critical dates, deadlines and requirements of the contract in order to get to closing.

The Option Period. In most circumstances Texas Realtors use purchase contracts created by the Texas Real Estate Commission. Included in their contracts is a Termination Option. The buyer pays the seller a fee and for a defined period and during that time the buyer has the unrestricted option to termite the contract for any reason. During the specified period the buyer does inspections, verifies insurability, researches zoning, property restrictions and a multitude of other things. It is important to understand that terminating a contract during the option period does not require an explanation; the buyer can simply exercise the right to walk away.

The Inspection. The inspection, done during the Option Period gives the buyer the time to verify that the house they are purching is in satisfactory condition and meets their needs. Some buyers embrace a challenge and are willing to take on repairs and updates; others want a move in ready home. Regardless, the purpose of the inspection is to give the buyer the opportunity to satisfy themselves as to the contion/quality of the home they are purchasing. Following the inspection, and within the Option Period, the buyer may wish to renegotiate the terms of the contract to compensate for or request repairs. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement on the requested changes to the contract it may not close.

Financing considerations. The contract specifies the term that the buyer has to obtain financing. The period in which the buyer financing must be approved should be carefully monitored. If the buyers financing falls through after the financing period is over the buyer earnest money is in jeopardy.

Property Appraisal & Property & Condition. Even if the buyer is approved for financing the property cannot be sold if the property does not appraise for the price on the contract. Additionally, some appraisers may require the seller to make specific repairs to the property before closing. Either of these circumstances will required that the contract be renegotiated and if the two parties cannot agree to terms the contract may not close.

The list goes on. Option periods, inspections, and financing are three common trouble spots for transactions, but there are many others. Problems with title insurance or the survey, disagreements about items that convey, issues related to homeowners associations, or damage to the property after acceptance of the contract but before closing are a few examples of issues that can arise.

Managing the Process. RE/MAX Landmark agents are skilled negotiators and adept at managing the contract to close process. Working with the right agent can alleviate a great deal of the angst that comes with buying a home and significantly increase the likelihood that the transaction will proceed smoothly.

Terry Roberts, Owner/Broker RE/MAX Landmark

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