Buying a home is a process. Once a buyer writes an offer and has it accepted, the listing is placed in a state called “pending sale.” During this stage, the principals involved perform all the elements of the contract, and once complete, the title is transferred to the new owner.
Sounds simple, but this stage can become incredibly stressful if the contract milestones are not met on time, or if problems are uncovered. Typically, a home sale outlines the term for escrow of 30-60 days. During this time, inspections are completed and reviewed, the appraisal is ordered, and final loan approval is obtained. If there are no delays, the escrow will close on time and the buyer gets the keys to their new home.
Unfortunately, there are often delays in this process, which can cause the sale to drag on. Some common hiccups include negotiated repairs, financing or credit issues, appraisal problems, missing paperwork, and title issues.
At times, delays become excessive and either buyer or seller may be ready to move on. All contracts have milestones and benchmarks which outline by what date each step in the process must be completed. When these dates are passed, then the other party can make a demand to perform or close escrow. Working with an experienced real estate agent can help ensure you are protected from unnecessary delays during the pending sale.