There are many aspects about home hunting that can be exciting, but there’s nothing quite as exciting as when the sellers accept your offer. Maybe you were in a bidding war, maybe you were the first offer, but regardless of your journey, it definitely doesn’t end here. When the seller accepts your offer there are a few more steps you need to get ready for.
Understanding Earnest Money
When your offer is accepted you will be asked to put down earnest money. Earnest money is a show of good faith from the buyer, and depending on where you live it can range from 1-3% of the offer. Make sure to talk to your real estate agent and learn the conditions of the earnest money. Some contracts allow for the home buyer to get the money back if the deal falls through, but it depends on the circumstances of the situation.
Apply For Your Loan
While your loan company may have given you preapproval, you can only apply for the loan after the binding agreement has been signed by both parties. Loan companies may have different rates and options, so make sure you meet with a few lenders. It’s important to take the time and analyze the costs- can you afford the monthly payments on top of the utilities and the possible HOA? Taking the time to check your finances now will save you major headaches in the future.
Home Inspection and Appraisal
If you are using a loan to purchase the house, your lender will require a home appraisal. The appraiser will price the home according to its features, condition, and recent sales in the area. The outcome of the appraisal may change how much the lender is willing to loan, which can lead to either renegotiation of the home price, or even the end of the deal. The next important step is to invest the money in ordering a home inspection. The home inspector’s job is to inform you if there are any damages in the home and to provide estimated costs to fix these issues. This step will you a better understanding of the home’s condition and may help you and your real estate agent negotiate a lower cost in the home.
Homes are the biggest investments people make, so it’s important to protect your investment with the right type of home insurance. Some insurance policies can cover AC system freezing, floods, fire, and more. Make sure to take the time to look into the policies and find one that best matches your concerns.
The final walkthrough is a process that happens two days before your closing date. This is the time to see if there are any new damages, and the agreed conditions of the home are in order. Now’s the time to address any new concerns, because after you sign the deal in two days, all home issues will be your responsibility. This is also an important time to contact the proper resources and ensure that utilities will be turned on, on the day of closing.
The day is finally here, so make sure to bring all required documents to ensure a seamless settlement. You’ll need to bring the funds for the home, and possibly two forms of government-issued identification to complete the process. This is the time where closing costs will be paid, the agreement with the lender will be paid, and the most exciting part- you will get the keys to your brand new home.
While this list may seem a bit daunting, your real estate agent will be by your side the entire time to guide you. They are a valuable source of information, so remember to ask questions! Staying on top of each step will reduce stress and possible hiccups, and you’ll find yourself a homeowner in no time!