Whew, that was a roller coaster of emotions. So much stress waiting to hear if your offer
has been accepted, wondering if you submitted a strong enough offer, afraid
your dream home might slip out of your hands. But guess what? Your agent did
their job and you are officially under contract! So now what?
There are several steps and processes that you will go
through from time of offer acceptance until you get those shiny keys in your
hand. Let’s walkthrough them together.
Earnest Money Deposit
The terms of how much earnest money you have promised to put
down, who the escrow holder of your earnest money is, the acceptable forms
agreed on (certified check, personal check, etc) and when it is due is ALL
listed in the offer you submitted. The
escrow holder, typically the chosen closing attorney’s office, is required by
law to have a copy of the deposited monies. Make sure you see with your own eyes. Request a copy from your agent.
Lender Contact Information
If you have not already had your lender and your agent in
contact with one another for a pre-qualification letter, get them acquainted immediately. Typical financing options take 30-45 days to
process from beginning to end. Your
agent will email a copy of the bound contract so that they know they are ready
to proceed with the real nitty gritty work. Your lender and agent will stay in contact and work together throughout
the rest of the deal.
We encourage all of our clients to get a home inspection
during their due-diligence period. Your
due-diligence period typically lasts anywhere from 5-14 days depending on the
type of purchase you are pursuing. Home inspections serve several purposes: They let you know of any defects in the property, they give you
negotiation power in case something pops up that could be a costly fix/hazard
and they give you an idea of what to expect during your appraisal process.
Now these can range in intensity depending on the type of
financing you have chosen. Typically
speaking, a FHA appraisal/inspection is going to be a little more thorough than
conventional financing. You will not be
able to secure financing if certain items are not fixed and comply with the
lender’s standards. Again, this could be
another point to renegotiate.
Final Review By Lender
This step varies and is unique to every deal. Once an underwriter has set conditions that
may need to met, (additional documents to prove your lendability) they will do
a final review of your file. Expect this
to take several days once conditions have been set. If you are given a round of conditions, do NOT take them lightly. Take care of them immediately to ensure you are not wasting valuable
days. Banks and other third parties have their own set of rules
about how long they have to respond to certain inquiries. Keep that in mind when requesting documents.
You are so close to the finish line! This is not required, but it is
encouraged. Take a final walkthrough of the property the day
before or same day as your scheduled closing to make sure the Seller abides
by the contract terms for the condition of the property. Make sure personal property is removed, no
cosmetic changes have occurred and the house is true and accurate to the terms
of your contract.
When you get here, it means that your financing has been
approved, you have reviewed a Closing Disclosure with both your lender and
agent and you know what is expected of you financially when you show up to sign
a huge stack of paperwork. If you owe
money to close, make sure your funds are in an acceptable form for your closing
attorney. It will either be in certified
funds or a wire transfer. You may or may
not be at the table with the Seller but expect to be there for a while. Once all documents are signed and the closing
attorney can confirm all money transfers on the Seller and Buyer sides, you
will officially be a new homeowner!
-Published by guest writer, Jana Lambros