They Accepted Your Offer. Now What?
You’ve finally found the perfect home, put in an offer, and had your offer accepted. Congratulations, you’ve bought a new home! Almost.
Between having your offer accepted and moving in, there is a lot that needs to happen. While the process may seem tedious, it helps protect you and ensures that you’re making a solid investment. Understanding the process and preparing for it will make your home buying experience easier.
Deposit Earnest Money
When your offer is accepted, an earnest money deposit is often required. As the name suggests, earnest money is a demonstration of your commitment to the home purchase.
An earnest money deposit is usually between 1% and 3% of the sale price. This money is held in an escrow account. The funds can later be applied toward your down payment or closing costs. You should also make sure that your contract is clear about when and how you can get your earnest money back if the sale isn’t finalized.
Get a Home Inspection
Even if the home looks good, it may have problems you can’t easily see. It can be a good idea to get your potential new home inspected by a licensed property inspector. A property inspection usually costs, on average, between $200 and $400 and can reveal concerns with:
- Foundations and construction
- Wiring and electrical
- Plumbing and sewer
- Broken doors, windows, and general maintenance
If the initial inspection reveals issues, you may need to schedule follow-up inspections with specialists who can provide a more thorough examination. Keep in mind, your contract usually specifies a period when inspections can occur. If you can’t get a specialist during that time period, you may need to contact the seller and ask for an extension.
Once the inspection is complete, you will need to present a list of concerns to the seller. You and the seller can then negotiate the best way to address these concerns. A seller may agree to fix the problem before you move in, or they may be willing to reduce the sale price to offset your repair costs.
Review the Appraisal
Next, your lender schedules an appraisal of the home to determine the value of the home in today’s market. While the lender requires the appraisal, you are responsible for paying for it, which usually averages between $300 and $600 depending on the size and condition of the home and the value of the property. If the appraisal is less than what you offered, the lender will not approve the loan amount. You and the seller may decide on getting another appraisal. Or you can increase your down payment to lower the home loan amount and bring it in line with the appraisal.
Hopefully, you made the offer with a mortgage preapproval. This will speed the process of securing your mortgage. When your offer is accepted, notify your lender. You’ll choose your type of mortgage and complete some additional paperwork and you may be able to lock your rate. Then the lender will complete the underwriting process. At this time, refrain from making any large purchases or increasing your debt, which could affect your credit score.
Buy Homeowners Insurance
Although you won’t own the home until closing, your lender will require proof of insurance before agreeing to finance your home purchase. The amount and type of homeowners insurance you will need will depend upon the type of home you are buying. Your insurance agent can help guide you in selecting the right coverage.
Do the Walk-Through
Before the closing, you and your real estate agent will walk through the home you are buying to make sure the property is in the condition agreed upon in the sales agreement. This is also the time to check to see if any repairs you negotiated to be made after the inspection have been completed.
At the closing, you’ll meet with your team and the seller’s team and sign all the documentation required to transfer ownership. Bring two forms of ID and the checks as directed in the closing disclosure you receive from your real estate agent.
The closing agent will file the paperwork with the county recorder or register of deeds to make it official. Then, you’ll get your keys, and the home is yours.
All of the Mortgage Experts at Ephrata National Bank would love to help you get offer accepted to home owner. Visit our company directory to learn more about our Mortgage team.