Well most of my blogs come from things that I have currently going on in my business, mainly because sometimes we as Realtors forget some very important questions that people do have, that are common place for us because this is all we do. So after I had another offer accepted, and had some common questions come up, and it as well made me think of some others I am frequently asked so I decided it was time for another blog.
After your offer is accepted things really do start to move along, sometimes quicker and sometimes a little slower. There are many different variables as far as how long it will take but the order of what will happen never changes.
Step 1 - Get Your Offer Accepted
After your offer is accepted, the home most times will still continue to be marketed. A reputable company will tell anyone who shows interest in seeing it that their is a first accepted offer on it. This will allow the homeowner to still receive back-up offers, but once they have accepted your offer you can consider yourself the "winner"!
Step 2 - Sales Agreement & Attorney Review
This is a very standard form and is very important to your purchase, this is really sometimes the first step, but if you have had to negotiate and make changes to your original offer you will want to fill out a new updated one to send over to the attorneys. The buyer and the seller will fill this out independently and receive a copy. You attorney will review this document normally without any changes, because the contract will have the specifics credits or add-ons.
Step 3 - Call Your Mortgage Broker
Your realtor should have already developed a relationship with your mortgage broker to be sure this is a home that you can afford with the sales price/taxes/insurance. If they have not spoken to them they shouldn't wait any longer to get that relationship going. I personally like to have a direct line of communication the moment they give you the okay to go out and start looking.
Sometimes the seller will want you to get a 2nd mortgage pre-approval, this is not unusual in my business, because I work for a company who has their own mortgage company. A seller can not however tell you who to get a mortgage with, they can only request a pre-approval thru a specific company.
This is not to say that using a mortgage broker your agent has not yet worked with will cause a problem, I have had many deals go perfectly with mortgage companies I had not previously worked with.
Step 4 - Home Inspection
Many companies will have a preferred list of home inspectors, if you already have someone. You want to have the home inspection as soon as possible, even with a first accepted offer. A home inspector should check for of course the obvious red flags: mold, mildew, termite damage, but you also want them to check to make sure of some other things you may not think of. Most will check to make sure that the hot water, actually gets hot, in older home this will take a bit longer but these are things that once you move in can become important. They will also check things in the attics, basements and crawlspaces.
Homes that are remodeled it usually only takes about an hour for a full inspection, and others usually take about 2 hours. You do not need to follow the inspector around give him/her some space. You will get a full copy of the report, and they will talk to you about it before they leave the property.
Step 5 - Sign The Contracts
Now depending on how your home inspection went sometimes you will be just going in to sign contracts with no changes, but sometimes there will have been more changes because of things that came up during your home inspection. Remember your offer is still accepted, but now you are going to be changing the terms.
I can not stress what I am going to say enough, and it is what I say to not only buyers but to sellers too, BE REASONABLE!
I can understand a seller does not want to have to do work to the home they are moving out of, but you can't expect a buyer to just ignore problems that may have arose during a home inspection. Try and work with the buyer, because no matter who the buyer is they WILL have a home inspection and you will more than likely be in the same position.
That being said sometimes buyers should be reasonable, don't let fear of losing the house force you to overlook a major problem but don't let a little problem cause you to loose your dream home either.
Step 6 - Bank Appraisal
This again is where a good Realtor is key, because the bank is going to come in and make sure the house is worth the money that in reality the bank is putting up for it.
This is what in today's market really is an asset to the buyer, because banks are not easily giving out money the way they did 10 years ago when the prices were really at its highest point. The banks are very careful that the home is worth what your paying for it.
I personally try and make the bank appraisers life as easy as possible, I bring my comps to the appraisal now we can't force them to use those specifically but most appraisers will appreciate it and many times end up using them. This depends on the bank and the appraiser but if they feel the realtor has done there due diligence to make sure the buyers are not over paying, than they will use them.
Step 7 - THE HOME STRETCH
Your ready to close, you will have not much else to do till about a month before your closing !
I will write another blog outlining the things you will need to get in order prior to your closing separate from this one, and attach the link!