Congratulations—your offer on your dream home was accepted! You may be asking yourself, “Now what?” While you might think it’s smooth sailing once your offer is accepted and the paperwork is all signed, there are actually quite a few steps to take to ensure that both you and the property are ready to move forward. The typical process from purchase contract to possession can actually take anywhere from two weeks to ninety days.
Once a purchase contract is signed, the buyer should start looking for a loan to cover the home’s mortgage. It’s a good idea to get pre-qualified from a lending institution prior to house hunting, as it can speed up the lending process. The lending institution will most likely order an appraisal, as they want to see that the property is appraised at the sale price or higher. They will then begin processing the loan.
In order to switch ownership of a property, it must have a clear title. Consult with a real estate attorney or escrow officer to understand the title report in more detail. Then, begin looking for homeowners insurance. Most of the time, buyers are expected to pay for homeowners insurance before closing the sale as your lender will need
of your insurance before they approve your mortgage.
You’ll also need to have the home inspected by a licensed property inspector. During the inspection, they will evaluate the exterior of the home, the plumbing system, the electric system, the HVAC system, the appliances, and the garage, if applicable. If serious defects are found in the home, there is potential for nullifying the purchase agreement.
To summarize, here’s a checklist of what is expected of you once your offer is accepted in order to close the sale:
Transfer your initial deposit within three business days.
Complete the home inspection.
Get approved for a loan.
Get homeowners insurance.
Do a final walkthrough.
Sign the loan documents and closing documents.
Transfer the down payment into an escrow account.
Get the property deed stamped by the county clerk.
While it may feel overwhelming, taking these steps is a good way to make sure that you aren’t missing anything when purchasing your next home. You may find you have to renegotiate, adjust, or cancel the sale depending on what you learn along the way, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when making what will be one of the largest purchases of your life. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone—give me a call if you need guidance along the way!