When you’re selling your home in Texas the first handful of days after accepting an offer is called the option period. This is usually a period of 5-10 days (negotiable) that the buyer can terminate the contract for any reason they’d like. Generally, this is the time the buyer uses to order inspections on your home so they can have a professional opinion of the condition of the property. The main types of inspections you can expect are:
General Home Inspection
Termite / Pest Inspections (required for some loan types)
Roof Inspections (most often done when the general home inspection has questions about the condition of the roof)
Once the buyer receives the results of any of these inspections they may then request that you as the seller make repairs by negotiating via an amendment through their agent. In lieu of repairs, they may also request a seller concession which they can use to make the repairs themselves post-closing.
The seller also pays a fee per day for the option period. While negotiable, the standard rate for the option period in our market is about $10 / day. This fee is generally credited back to the buyer at closing, but, should the buyer decide to terminate during the option period, you as the seller keep this fee. It’s sometimes referred to as a “gift of good faith” for pulling your home off the market while inspections are done.
If inspections take a long time, or if repairs haven’t been negotiated by the end of the option period, it can be extended if agreed upon by both parties. This can be done with or without any additional days worth of the option fee.
Once you pass the option period the buyer is generally very committed to the closing. The main hurdle after the option period over is the buyer getting through the loan process. As a seller the time between the option period and closing is pretty quiet. At this point I advise my clients to start packing!