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Sellers The Signing Of The Contract Does Not Mean That Closing Will Occur

1-2-3 Credit & Me: Learn how you can Stabilize, Improve & Maintain your credit throughout your lifetime (Part of the Real Estate & Finance 360 Degrees Series of Books Book 6) by THOMAS (TJ) UNDERWOOD  | Sold by: Services LLC | Oct 19, 2020, updated Summer 2023

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If you are considering purchasing a home or refinancingyou can go to or along with local mortgage lenders in your areato determine what loan will best suit youand your family.  You can compare closing costs, APR's and Par rates to determine what loan will best serve yourand your family's long-term interests.

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The Signed Contract Is Only The Beginning

*Just because you signed on the dotted line does not mean that everything will be fine

Did you know that many things can occur from contract to closing to prevent an anticipated closing from occurring?

A purchaser is unable to obtain financing, sudden family emergencies, loss of job, and other factors mean that the closing on your Atlanta home could be delayed, or worse yet not happen at all.

As a seller you must realize that there are a number of steps that the buyer must go through before the closing can occur.

First all contingencies in the contract must be met in order to move forward to the closing.

The first contingency in the contract is the mortgage contingency. This simply states that the offer is conditional upon the buyer being able to obtain suitable mortgage financing.

In the event that the buyer cannot obtain a mortgage, the purchase offer (contract) becomes null and void.

This ends the buyer’s obligation to purchase unless they wish to renegotiate the offer and mortgage contingency.

As you can see the closing will not occur if this contingency is not met.

Other contingencies that can also delay or prevent closing from occurring include the following:

  • the sale of a current home
  • obtaining a satisfactory home inspection by a qualified inspector
  • obtaining a satisfactory termite/pest inspection
  • obtaining satisfactory results for well and septic tests
  •  getting a satisfactory attorney review of your Offer to Purchase (if included as a contingent in the contract)
  •  many others


Once you submit a purchase offer the seller has the option to accept or reject it, or make a counteroffer.

If portions of your offer are not agreeable to the seller, the seller can make changes to some or all of the offer and then the offer becomes a counteroffer.

It then becomes your decision as to whether the counteroffer is acceptable or not.

You can then accept, reject, or make a counter to the counteroffer. This is part of the negotiation process.

Once negotiations are over and you and the purchaser have come to agreeable terms and now have a fully executable contract and all contingencies have been met--closing will occur.

In Georgia the closing attorney represents the lender.

It is my belief that the party (buyer or seller) paying the majority of the closing costs should select the closing attorney--unless other factors are at play that would make doing so unwise.

Real estate closings are often exhilarating and stressful at the same time.

Since 9/11 you are required to bring a photo I.D. to the closings in most states. There are many legal papers that are shuffled during closing, as well as checks for large sums of money being exchanged among parties.

The key concept to remember in Georgia is that it is a non-judicial foreclosure state.

Simply stated if the purchaser fails to make timely payments and live up to the loan agreement--the lender can foreclose upon the borrower in a relatively short time (several months).

Therefore as a seller--determine early (as best you can) if the buyer is actually “ready, willing, and able to purchase” and they have a workable emergency fund in place--or other compensating factors at play--that will help mitigate the likelihood of a late--or missed payment on the mortgage--or even prevent them from qualifying for a mortgage.

At closing, the seller gives the title (deed) to the buyer in exchange for the purchase price that is stated in the contract.

Among other papers you sign will be IRS Form 1099, a form known as the HUD-1 Statement or the Uniform Settlement Statement, and other mortgage documents.

The closing attorney will explain all forms to you but they move through the forms quite rapidly. That is why all issues of major concern by you should be addressed before the closing so that you will have a clear understanding in a less stressful environment.

As you can see a signed contract agreed to by all parties does not mean that the closing will occur.

That is why it is imperative that you choose an experienced agent who not only knows and understand the process--but one who can get things done and help ensure that all contingencies are met in a timely manner--and in a way that will benefit you--the seller.

About This Article:


The above article was written by Thomas (TJ) Underwood.   Thomas (TJ) Underwood is an active real estate broker in the state of Georgia and is the writer behind The Wealth Increaser, Home Buyer 411,  Home Seller 411, The 3 Step Structured Approach to Managing Your Finances, Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM and CREDIT & FINANCE IMPROVEMENT MADE EASY—FREE GUIDE. 

He is the creator of where he regularly blogs about helping consumers improve their credit, finance and real estate pursuits in an intelligent, consistent and proactive manner.  He’s always looking for ways to make intelligent finance improvement happen for those who “sincerely desire” success in their future. 

You can contact him from a number of sources but the most direct way is to contact him through the contact us block that can be found at the bottom of this page. 

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Thomas (TJ) Underwood has been providing financial advice as a tax practitioner since the mid 1980’s and began his financial planning career (while earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration/Finance/Marketing), in Detroit at Wayne State University.  From 2010 up to the present he continues to provide visitors timely personal finance and wealth building advice and articles—including real estate advice—on 3 sites that he has created since 2010. 

Even though he is an active real estate Broker in the Atlanta Metropolitan area, he continues to blog consistently to help visitors and those who desire lasting financial and life changing success the opportunity to change their life for the better in a more efficient way. 

You can learn more about him and gain access to all three sites that he has created by going to Who is the creator of page.

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