My offer has been accepted! What next?
You’ve been searching for the perfect home for weeks, months, maybe even years and now your offer has been accepted. You’re incredibly excited – and rightly so – you’re going to be in your new home in about one month!
In this post, we’ll detail next steps, so you can close escrow on your new home smoothly and as stress free as possible.
Seller accepted my offer, what are my next steps?
First off congratulations! Breath. Relax. It’s time to put your real estate team to work for you. Your team is going to help guide you all the way to close on your new home.
Your team is: 1) your agent / broker, 2) your loan officer (if you’re financing with a mortgage), 3) your title / escrow company, and 4) your home inspector(s).
Ask your agent for a detailed escrow calendar / timeline
Most agents work with a Transaction Coordinator (“TC”) to help keep paperwork in order and to help keep both the agent and the buyer or seller on top of all deadlines throughout the purchase and sale process. Even if your agent does not work with a TC, it is important that they have an escrow calendar available for you.
Once your offer is accepted, ask your agent to send you a calendar showing all deadlines through close of escrow. This is a huge help in eliminating stress through your home purchase, as you can plan ahead to keep things moving smoothly.
Do you have contingencies? Tackle those first
Unless you have waived all buyer contingencies, it is important to quickly start addressing your contingencies. Buyer contingencies typically include the loan contingency (purchase is subject to loan approval), appraisal contingency (purchase is subject to the home appraising at the agreed-upon purchase price), and inspection contingency (purchase is subject to no major issues found during inspection). You may also have a home sale contingency, in which case you’ll need to sell your home prior to purchasing the new home.
Read on to learn more about addressing your contingencies.
Let your loan officer / lender know ASAP
You’ve probably already been pre-approved for a loan at this point, now it’s time to get that full approval, so your lender can fund your mortgage loan.
In order to get your loan approved, your lender is going to need a copy of your purchase agreement / contract. If your real estate agent hasn’t already done so, be sure to let your lender know that you’re now in contract and be sure to send a copy of that contract asap.
Once your lender has the contract, they can move forward with formal loan approval, including ordering your appraisal. Note: even if you’ve waived the appraisal contingency, your lender will still require an appraisal to ensure adequate collateral.
Coordinate home inspections
Your contract likely has a deadline for conducting your home inspections, so it is important to quickly start scheduling those, as inspectors are often busy, sometimes booking a few weeks out. A good agent likely has several inspectors ready to get your inspection(s) done in a matter of days.
The most common inspections include: 1) general home inspection; 2) pest inspection; and 3) roof inspection.
In California, you may also want a foundation inspection, as well as any local point-of-sale required inspections (although sellers will typically already have these done).
In New Mexico and Colorado you may also want a radon inspection and, if applicable, a well and septic inspection (often mandatory).
Review all seller disclosures
Each state has its own required seller disclosures. These are documents in which the seller discloses any known material facts about the home. Your agent has likely already requested disclosures from the seller’s agent, but if you have not yet received those, now is a good time to ask your agent for a copy.
Fill out any required paperwork from title / escrow
Typically title / escrow companies will need to know how you would like to take title (e.g. community property, sole and separate property, etc.). They are usually proactive about contacting you with needed paperwork, it’s important to get that completed quickly so they can prepare the deed to your new home and coordinate closing paperwork with your lender.
Stay on top of the paperwork your lender needs
Speaking of paperwork, the loan approval process always – always requires the buyer to be proactive in getting your lender needed paperwork. In order to keep on time with your closing deadlines, it is vital that you get your lender any requested paperwork as quickly as possible.
Often this paperwork will include tax returns, employment verifications, business profit/loss statements, bank account info, etc. It’s tedious, but it’s necessary, and the faster you can get through the approval step, the less stress as you approach close!
Start looking ahead to your final walkthrough
Most states allow the buyer to conduct a final home walkthrough / verification of property condition just prior to closing. This allows you to make sure there are no major changes to the home since you went under contract. You’re not looking for nail holes or small paint marks from staging or the seller moving out. You’re looking for real damage and it’s important that you make sure there’s no such damage before closing on your home.
Looking ahead on your escrow calendar, it’s a good idea to schedule that walkthrough within about 5 days before your scheduled signing date. Ask your agent to schedule the walk through with the seller’s agent and add it to your calendar.
Are you buying with YayPad? If so, coordinate your agent commission refund!
If you’re using the money toward closing costs (recommended), your agent will need to coordinate with your lender so that your lender can apply those funds to your purchase.
Enjoy the process
It’s quite a bit of work, but by week 2 or 3, your work is done and most remaining tasks for closing escrow are in the hands of your lender and escrow company. By that point, things are on autopilot (with your team handling their tasks), and you can start planning your move!
The process may seem daunting at first, but your team is in place to help and the payoff is… well, a new home!
A good team is there to help you and your Realtor is your best guide through it all, so don’t hesitate asking (lots of) questions throughout the home buying journey.