Buying or Selling a House – Typical Steps Involved

Generally the following steps are involved in a routine real estate transaction:

  1. Listing by Seller
  2. Offer by Buyer
  3. Counter Offer by Seller
  4. Contract between Both
  5. Escrow Instructions
  6. Financing
  7. Closing

The most important steps from a legal standpoint are the terms of the written offer, which may become part of the purchase contract. One must be careful to review the offer and the contract, to make sure that unlikely contingencies, e.g., the house having an infestation of termites, are provided for in the contract. Also, every one of the main items in the deal, such as what happens if escrow does not close on the specified date, should be addressed.


Because this is an area where good legal advice cannot be ignored, there is no attempt to discuss each and every aspect of the purchase and sale transaction. This task is better left to the lawyers. Potential problems can also arise during the process.


If you get confused at any point during the steps involved when buying or selling a house, remember we’re here for you. Contact member services and we’ll help answer any questions and match with an attorney that meets your specific