Step 16 To Selling a Home: We Have an Accepted Offer. Now What?
Congratulations, we’re so happy for you!
This is an exciting day -- the day you have an accepted, signed offer on your home!
The date on which all parties have signed off on all of the contract's terms and we've come to an agreement is called the Binding Agreement Date. This is the date from which all of the timelines in the contract begin (the due diligence period, the financing and appraisal contingency timelines, etc.). We will send you a form outlining all of the important dates in the contract -- we put those dates in our master calendar and ask that you put reminders in your calendar, as well, so that you know when important deadlines are approaching. We also send a copy of the executed contract and the important contract dates to all parties in the contract: the buyer's REALTOR®, the closing attorney, and the buyer's lender.
The first ten days or so after the Binding Agreement Date will continue to feel "busy" and there may be a lot of parties still in and out of your house (just when you thought showings were over...inspections begin!). In addition to their general home inspection, the buyer may schedule inspections for radon, termites and other pests, pool and septic system (if applicable to your home).
Also during these first few days, the buyer is required to deposit their earnest money, either with their REALTOR®'s brokerage or with the closing attorney. Their earnest money is different from their downpayment; it is essentially a good faith payment showing that they are serious about moving forward. The earnest money will be credited towards the buyer’s downpayment at closing. Once the earnest money is received, we get a copy of it from the buyer's REALTOR® for our records and as proof it has been received.
Finally, once we have Binding Agreement with a buyer, we are required to change your home's listing status in the MLS to show that we are under contract. We can continue to accept showings (with your permission), and we may indeed get those requests because when inventory is low, buyers may want to see homes that are already under contract in hopes that the home will become available again or that they may be interested in putting a back-up offer in for. Click here to read more about back-up offers.