Selling Your Home: A Guide to Getting Paid in a Real Estate Transaction


Congratulations on the successful sale of your home! As you eagerly anticipate the substantial profit, let’s dive into the intricacies of the real estate transaction process. Follow the money from the initial offer to the closing day for a detailed understanding of this financial journey.

The Importance of the Earnest Money Deposit

The journey begins with the buyers expressing commitment through the earnest money deposit, typically ranging from 1% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. This payment not only demonstrates dedication but also ensures that the offer is backed up with real funds. However, it’s crucial to note that the funds are not immediately accessible to the seller. Instead, they are securely held by a third party, such as an escrow company, until the closing day. This precautionary measure ensures fair distribution if any issues arise during the contract or inspection phases.

Navigating the Process: Receiving the Down Payment

While the earnest money deposit is a positive sign, the down payment is the true indicator of the buyer’s commitment. Buyers present the down payment as proof of their financial capacity to repay the loan, which is only handed over after the lender approves the required loan for the real estate transaction. As a seller, patience is essential as various obligations unfold, including inspections, repairs, disclosures, and contingencies. The entire closing process typically spans 30 to 90 days, with an average duration of 50 days.

Closing Day: The Much-Awaited Payday

Closing day, often referred to as payday for sellers, is the culmination of the process. On this day, buyers settle the remaining down payment (minus the earnest money), and closing costs are resolved. The title officially transfers from the seller to the buyer. As the transaction concludes, the escrow agent releases the full purchase price to the seller. It’s important to note you completely understand your closing costs and net provided to you by your real estate agent and title company.

Remember, almost all closing costs are negotiable regarding what the seller and buyer pays during the close of escrow. If you sign a purchase contract not knowing what you closing costs then you’re on the hook to potentially pay a lot of money at the close of escrow.

Wire Transfers on House Payments: Ensuring a Secure Transaction

Opting for electronic transfer as the payment method can expedite the availability of funds, usually within a day. However, the real estate industry has witnessed a rise in wire fraud cases. When exchanging wiring instructions, prioritize secure and encrypted communication. “Always verify details with the title company via phone to add an extra layer of protection against fraud” says Eric Karwowski, Broker/owner of id8 Real Estate, “I’ve seen my share of fraud in this industry and it’s extremely important to work with well seasoned real estate agents and title companies.”

Extended Tips for Sellers: Ensuring a Smooth Process

Communication is Key:

Stay in constant communication with all involved parties, including buyers, agents, and the title company. Clarity and transparency contribute to a smoother process.

Verify Wire Instructions:

Double-check provided wire instructions before authorizing any transfers. A simple verification can prevent potential fraud.

Professional Guidance:

Engage with experienced professionals, such as real estate agents and title company representatives, who can offer valuable insights and guidance.

🌶 Hot Take-Away: Empowering Sellers Through Knowledge

Selling your home involves a series of intricate steps, from the earnest money deposit to the final wire transfer. Understanding this process empowers you as a seller and allows for a seamless transition from property owner to a holder of substantial funds.

Be sure to read our article regarding which cities in the United States are making the largest and smallest earnest money deposits.

As you navigate this journey, remember that knowledge is your greatest asset. Stay informed, ask your agent as much questions as you have, stay vigilant, and relish the rewards of a successful real estate transaction.

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