After you execute a contract to sell your home, buyers have the right to check out your home. This is called the option period. Buyers will pay you a certain amount, usually around $100, for this option period, which will last anywhere from seven to fourteen days. Buyers can back out of the contract for any reason during the option period without defaulting on the contract and get their earnest funds released back to them. What do you do as a seller during the option period? Here are three things you should be doing.
Get Your Mind in the Right Place
The purpose of the option period is to allow the buyers to check out your home through inspections. These inspections will bring to light repairs needed in your home. I always advise sellers to have the right frame of mind during this period. It will hurt to have someone come into your home and tell you what is wrong with it. If you know this going into the process, you will be better prepared to the reality of people nick-picking your home’s faults. The buyers will request you to make repairs in an amendment to the original contract. Buyers will ask for all the repairs in wide range. Some buyers will request repairs covering the breadth of the inspection report while others will focus on the big ticket items. Of course, if you don’t agree with the repair amendment, you can counter offer, which is what will usually happen. It is best to keep an open mind to the process and the requests being made by the buyer.
Make Your Home available Inspectors will need to have access to the home. The inspectors will look at every nook and cranny of your home. They will crawl into your attic and ascend onto your roof. If you have an insect inspection, the inspector will need access to crawl spaces. Electrical panels need to be clear without obstructions so make a path in your garage to it. Air conditioning units and furnaces will also be checked as well as all the plumbing in the home. It best to brace yourself for this event as it can seem intrusive but is a necessary part so getting your home ready for the inspection is a good idea.
Cash the Option Check You will get a check from the buyers for the option period. These funds will be yours no matter if the contract goes through or not. You need to cash the check. Most title companies will remind you of this fact at closing if you have not cashed it. It is your money to keep so why not cash it immediately and enjoy a nice steak dinner while your home is getting inspected. A perfect way to get you in the right frame of mind for the upcoming repair amendment.