One of the most common questions that I get once a buyer’s contract is accepted is, “What happens next?”

My short answer is that “It’s crazy upfront, quiet in the middle, and then gets busy again before closing.”

Basically (in a typical Arizona home sale):

  • Escrow is opened. The buyer’s earnest deposit check is deposited with the title company.
  • The title company will mail or email a packet to the buyers and seller, that could be completed and returned ASAP.
  • The seller provides a seller disclosure and an insurance claims history, within 5 days of contract acceptance.
  • If the buyer is getter a loan, the lender will prepare a Loan Status Update (LSU) for the buyer’s signature, which also must be delivered to the seller within 5 days of contract acceptance.
  • Home inspections are to be completed within the first 10 days, unless the time period has been changed in the contract. The buyer requests repairs (if any), and the seller responds.
  • The buyer’s lender orders an appraisal and processes the loan.
  • About a week before closing, buyer and seller’s order the utility transfer.
  • Several days before closing, the buyer and seller sign documents, most often at the title company. In Arizona, buyers and sellers do not necessarily ever meet. Signings are done individually.
  • Buyer and bank funds are wired into the title company.
  • On the day of closing, the transaction occurs electronically. The title company notifies the real estate agents, who then notify the buyer and seller.
  • Keys are delivered!