A home appraisal determines the estimated market value of your soon-to-be property. The appraiser evaluates it based on general condition, geographic location, proximity to objects of interest, value of the nearby houses, recent sales, and neighborhood growth and potential, among other factors. Mortgage lenders use this information to make sure the amount you borrow is supported by the home’s value. There’s always a risk of a low appraisal. In that case, the lender won’t go through with the transaction at that price. The seller might adjust the sale price accordingly but also might not. Appraisal value isn’t a binding figure — what the seller sells for and the buyer pays determines the sale price. The situation might be that you negotiated a deal with the seller for a price already lower than initially wanted. This likely is due to the home selling in a buyer’s market and its location in a declining market area. This may slow or disrupt the closing process while further negotiations are conducted.

#8. Set the Time and Date of the Closing

The closing date is a negotiable factor during the offer and acceptance phase of a home sale transaction. When making an offer, the buyer will include a closing date, and, depending on the seller’s circumstances, it might be acceptable or could be countered with other terms. Don’t choose a date casually. The right date can ensure a smooth closing and reduce closing costs; the wrong date puts the home buyer at risk of not closing on time, needlessly complicating the move, increasing expenses, and even losing your new home. Expenses are prorated through the closing date, so generally, there’s no better day of the month to close. However, in financing a mortgage, there are some differences in what is collected as a


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