I have simplied the closing process to 5 steps - each one must be met before a house can go to closing.  As a Buyer, you can see why sellers are so nervous and dont' want to give occupancy until after the house closes.  Take a look.

1.  Purchase agreement - all parties have agreed to a price.  Pretty cut and dried.

2.  Inspection:  house must pass inspection with buyer and seller agreeing on any repairs.  This is the first time the sale can potentially fall through.  If the buyer waits until the end of the inspection period or asks for a long inspeciton period, the house is off the Market for this time.  On a typical 10 day inspection, if the seller gets the reponse on day 10, then they havea 3 days to respond to the request, and the buyer then has another 3 days to respond, we are 16 days into the contract - and it can fall apart then.  

3.  Appraisal - many buyers are waiting until the inspeciton is completed before ordering the appraisal (which, by the way, is not the intent of the contract - appraisal should be ordered at loan application).  An appraisal typically takes 2 weeks.  Now we are at 30 days!!!

4.  Buyer Approval - many times the buyer doesn't get approval until the day of closing, or finds out the day before closing that their closing will be bumbed for a couple of weeks because the lender is bogged down, appraisal not in, buyer has to clear up some items.  And if the seller has packed up expecting to close on time......

5.  CLOSING!  Yea!  Sort of.  If the lender decides that day to pull this file and re verify with the buyer's employer that the buyer still has a job, the closing can be delayed - especially if the person they need to verify with is on vacation.

So, just be aware of all of these steps in the process!!!  It explains why so many people get frustrated.  A good REALTOR and a good LENDER can help move these issues along so that none of the parties are inconvenienced.


Some Tips to help:

As a seller - get your home PRE-INSPECTED!!! At the least, have the HVAC system cleaned and serviced.  Have a roofer check out the roof for hail damage - especially with all these storms.

As a buyer - get PRE-APPROVED!  Address any issues up front so that you can make an offer as a strong buyer!  Comes in handy when you get into a multiple offer situation!!!

Now, we have happy home buyers and sellers and a smooth transaction ahead!