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Standard Transaction Timeline

This is an outline of a standard real estate transaction. The dates and deadlines may vary due to the current market conditions and contingencies.

The Buy Sell:

Once an offer has been accepted by the seller (known as the effective date), the buyer has only a few days (outlined in the buy-sell)  to hand their earnest money over to their realtor who will deposit it in a trust account. During the first few days of an accepted offer, an inspection is scheduled and the lending officer is provided with the buy-sell agreement and begins to put together the lending package. Typically, an appraisal will be required which needs to be ordered right away.


The inspection takes place one to three weeks after the effective date. This inspection is for the buyer’s information. A professional will inspect the home or property under contract and present the buyer with a review of any issues or potential issues that they find. The buyer then has the opportunity to either void the contract and reclaim their earnest money, request some items to be repaired or replaced, request financial credit, or proceed with the contract and take the property as is. However the buyer chooses to go forward, an inspection notice is generated and presented to the seller’s agent/seller and both parties have the opportunity to negotiate the mitigation of any inspection items. At this point, the seller has the choice to fix all of the items on the notice and sign it, counter the notice with the seller response form and agreeing to fix some of the items, give financial credit, or terminate the buy-sell.


Inspection item repair:

The seller  has  to remedy any inspection items that they agreed to fix prior to closing. The agents are usually in pretty close contact as the sale proceeds and work together to make sure all items are being addressed. A few days prior to closing, the buyer can do a “walk through” of the property and make sure the repairs have been completed and the house is cleaned and ready to close.  If the seller has failed to make the repairs, clean and vacate the property, the closing can be delayed or the contract could be voided.



The appraisal is ordered by the lending company providing the loan. This portion of the transaction is for the bank and confirms that the property is worth the amount of money that they are lending on it. An appraisal in the Gallatin Valley can take up to six weeks from the effective date due to high demand. 



Closing dates are generally set out four to six weeks from the effective date. This date varies based on the contingencies outlined in the buy-sell. An appraisal is usually the piece of a transaction that can take the longest, so of course, if you are paying cash and don’t require an appraisal,  it is possible to close quickly.


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