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Dennis Isong: How to Navigate Property Transaction During Pendency Period

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During the real estate transaction process, properties often enter a pendency stage after an offer has been accepted but before the sale is finalised. This interim phase can be a period of uncertainty and anticipation for both buyers and sellers. To ensure a smooth transition and maintain the property’s value, it’s crucial to understand the responsibilities and best practices involved.

The pendency period, also known as the “under contract” or “pending” stage, begins when a buyer’s offer has been accepted by the seller, and both parties have signed the purchase agreement. During this time, the property is no longer actively listed on the market, and the seller is legally bound to the agreed-upon terms, unable to entertain or accept any other offers.

However, the pendency period does not guarantee a successful sale. Various contingencies and conditions must be met before the transaction can proceed to close. These may include a satisfactory home inspection, securing financing approval, clearing title and lien searches, and an appraisal aligning with the agreed-upon purchase price. If any of these contingencies are not met or if either party chooses to terminate the contract, the deal may fall through, and the property will revert to an active listing status.

Responsibilities During the Pendency Period

As a buyer, the pendency period is a crucial time to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to complete the purchase successfully. Your key responsibilities involve finalising loan applications by submitting all required documentation and financial information to the lender to secure final loan approval; conducting a home inspection to assess the property’s condition and identify any potential issues or repairs needed; negotiating repairs with the seller regarding any necessary repairs or concessions; conducting a final walk-through before closing to ensure the property’s condition aligns with the agreed-upon terms; and preparing for the move by beginning packing and making arrangements for the move to the new property.

As a seller, the period before the sale may seem less demanding, but there are still important responsibilities to fulfil. You need to keep the property in pristine condition, ensuring it remains clean, well-maintained, and free from any damage or neglect. You also need to facilitate access for the buyer’s home inspection, appraisal, and any other necessary visits or assessments. Additionally, you should promptly address any repair requests or negotiate resolutions with the buyer if issues are identified during the inspection, and begin packing and making arrangements for your move from the property.

Communication and Transparency

Effective communication between all parties involved – buyers, sellers, real estate agents, lenders, and other professionals – is paramount during the pendency period. Transparency and regular updates can help mitigate misunderstandings, address concerns promptly, and facilitate a smooth transaction.

Legal and Financial Considerations

Throughout the pendency period, it’s crucial to seek guidance from legal and financial professionals to navigate the complex processes involved. Real estate attorneys can review contracts, ensure compliance with local laws and regulations, and protect the interests of both parties.

Preparing for Closing Day

As the pendency period nears its end, both buyers and sellers should make necessary preparations for the closing day. This may include reviewing and understanding all closing documents, arranging for the transfer of funds or securing financing, coordinating the final walk-through and property handover and making arrangements for moving and transitioning to the new property.

Post-Closing Considerations

Even after the closing day, there are additional tasks or considerations to address such as change of ownership. You need to ensure the property ownership transfer is properly recorded with the appropriate authorities and the transfer of utility services to the new owner’s name. For buyers, establish a routine property maintenance plan to protect their investment and securely store all relevant documents, records, and warranties related to the property.


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