In the dynamic realm of real estate…

Navigating the intricacies of buying or selling a home can be daunting. For buyers, it’s not just about purchasing a home but also getting approval for a loan and knowing all the potential costs beforehand. On top of it, you have to find adequate insurance.

As a seller, you’re focused on getting the best possible price for your home and ensuring the closing process goes as planned. Additionally, you must be aware of the necessary legal disclosures and ensure compliance with local real estate laws.

That’s why we often seek the expertise of a real estate agent to ensure a smooth transaction. So, we decided to put our own checklist together. Whether you’re selling or buying, this is—in our professional opinion—the Best Transactional Checklist EVER!

This checklist guides you through the entire buying and selling process so you know what to expect at each stage, from initial interest to the final steps after closing. Download your checklist here.

Buyer’s Checklist

Pre-Pending to Pending

The journey for homebuyers begins long before a contract is ever signed. Initially, buyers should be prepared to:

  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage to determine their budget and show sellers they are serious about buying.
  • List down preferences and must-haves for their ideal home, which helps narrow the search.
  • Start house hunting with their agent, visiting properties that match their criteria.
  • Make an informed offer based on the comparative market analysis provided by their agent. 

This stage is crucial for setting a strong foundation for the upcoming transaction.

Pending to Closing

Once an offer is accepted, the process moves into the pending phase, where diligence and coordination are key:

  • Conduct a home inspection to uncover any hidden issues that might need addressing.
  • Secure a home appraisal to ensure the offered price matches the home’s value, which is essential for loan approval.
  • Finalize the mortgage by submitting all necessary documents to the lender for underwriting.
  • Review and negotiate repairs, if necessary, based on the home inspection report.
  • Check for contingencies such as financing and inspection to be met before the deal can proceed.

Post-Closing and Beyond

After closing, the buyer’s journey doesn’t end. The post-closing phase involves:

  • A final walkthrough to ensure that the home’s condition hasn’t changed and agreed-upon repairs have been made.
  • Transferring utilities into their name from the previous owner.
  • Updating the new address across various accounts and subscriptions.
  • Keeping organized records of all closing documents, warranties, and contractor information for future reference.

This phase is about settling in and addressing any issues that might only come to light once they start living in their new home.

Seller’s Checklist

Pre-Pending to Pending

For sellers, the pre-pending phase is all about preparing the property and positioning it to attract potential buyers:

  • Determine the asking price with a market analysis from their real estate agent.
  • Prepare the home for showing by decluttering, cleaning thoroughly, and making necessary repairs to improve curb appeal.
  • Gather important documents such as warranties, manuals, and receipts related to home improvements and maintenance.
  • List the home on the market through various channels, primarily the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

This preparation is vital to catch the eyes of prospective buyers and generate compelling offers.

Pending to Closing

Once a buyer makes an offer and the seller accepts it, the focus shifts to ensuring a seamless transition to the closing:

  • Negotiate and agree on any repairs following the buyer’s inspection.
  • Maintain the property until the transfer is complete, ensuring it remains in the condition the buyer expects.
  • Meet all contractual obligations and deadlines, such as home warranties or agreed-upon repairs.
  • Prepare for the final walkthrough with the buyer, making sure everything is in place as agreed.

This period requires attention to detail and constant communication with the buyer’s side.

Post-Closing and Beyond

The seller’s responsibilities extend slightly beyond the closing:

  • Provide the buyer with the necessary documents and contact information for utility transfers.
  • Ensure all personal belongings are moved out unless specifically included in the sale.
  • Address any post-closing inquiries from the buyer, including questions about home operation or warranty details.
  • Keep copies of all closing and legal documents for tax purposes and future reference.

This final phase ensures a clean and trouble-free handover to the buyer.

Whether you are buying or selling, a real estate agent’s checklist is an indispensable tool that outlines each step of the process, ensuring nothing is overlooked. From the excitement of finding a perfect home to the detailed preparations for sale and, finally, to the adjustments post-closing, each phase is designed to provide clarity and peace of mind. With this roadmap, agents can effectively guide their clients toward a successful real estate transaction. Download your checklist here.