The time, money, and energy spent buying a home can be overwhelming for those that aren’t completely given a run-down of what to expect. Things like loan approvals, coming up with a great offer to beat your competition, dealing with your sales contract, and just finding the right house can be much more exhausting than you think.
This is why having an experienced and professional realtor that you personally get along with is important – not only do you have to work with and talk to your realtor for an extended period of time, you’ll also be spending actual time with them at showings, open houses, and document signings.
Many buyers ask me, “What happens next?” once their offer is accepted and sales contract is signed. Well, this is the beginning of the next process in your home buying journey: Closing!
This process is obviously important, but a good realtor (such as myself) won’t allow to miss any steps and provide a smooth process from closing to moving in.
Here are the steps you should be sure to have your realtor assist you with after your offer is accepted.
“Earnest money” is basically a cash deposit you give as proof that you are really set on purchasing the home that just closed on your offer. This deposit is usually collected from you by your realtor before they even submit your offer to the seller(s), but other realtors might collect once the offer is accepted. Regardless, be sure your earnest money is delivered on time! Specifics are often detailed in your sales contract, so read carefully!
After you have your completed sales contract, you are now in the “inspection period,” which does have an end date. This is so that you get your inspection done promptly, and there is more than just one inspector that you may need to contact! Talk to your realtor about what you’ll need besides a standard inspector, such as pest, septic, or mold inspectors.
It is your realtor’s job to confirm with your mortgage lender that they received a copy of your sales contract. Once it’s received on their end, you now enter the mortgage process for your transaction. How to begin this process? Lots of paperwork!
Be ready to give plenty of documentation throughout this transaction, and get it all to your lender as soon as possible, because they are on their own timelines as well! If not, your process can be significantly slowed down. Furthermore, some lenders won’t send you reminders or watch over you to make sure you’re on track. To prevent any issues, be sure that you’re the one calling to confirm your status.
Whatever law office or title company you’re working with is responsible for facilitating this transaction. A “Title Committment” is then issued, which goes over the title history of the property and resolves any issues concerning it before officially closing.
It’s your job to notify your lender once your inspection process is completed. Once they know this, they’ll issue a home appraisal. This confirms that the loan you want is enough to cover the value of the home you’re purchasing. Each state has a time limit for appraisal completion, so be on top of your lender’s ordering and make sure it’s made on time.
Even before you close, your lender will require you to have some type of home owner’s insurance policy. To be prepared for this, research and choose a provider that works best for you in advance. After your policy is in place, tell your realtor, the title company, and your lender know. Your seller will most often provide some allowance to purchase a warranty, or your realtor may have a local agent they know and work with. Ask around and weigh out your options.
Once the above steps are completed, all that’s left to do is:
- Turn on your utilities
- Schedule your closing
- Do a final walkthrough
- Close your transaction!
Once all documents are signed and the transaction has been funded by your lender, you get the keys to your new home!!!