It can easily be one of the most exciting times of your life: after months of searching you put an offer on a home and, lo and behold, the seller accepted. Maybe you even beat out several other buyers.
Now what happens?
There are three things that you will need to do right away to move forward toward that magic day—closing.
START YOUR FINANCING
If you aren’t paying cash for your new home—most people purchase with a mortgage—you probably were pre-approved, or at least pre-qualified, with a lender. Once your offer is accepted—this is called “being under contract”—you need to start the formal mortgage application process.
Usually there is an application to fill—often nowadays online in a secure portal—and specific documents the lender needs to verify income, assets and debts in order to grant a mortgage. Your lender will direct you.
It’s very important to be deliberate in responding to your mortgage lender’s requests. Once your contract is accepted you are usually on a clock. Certain aspects of the transaction need to be accomplished by certain dates. The better prepared you are and the quicker you respond to the lender’s requests, the better able you are to meet those timelines. (And help your Realtor® sleep at night).
SCHEDULE THE INSPECTION
Your Realtor® probably will reccommend at least a couple qualified Home Inspectors. In most cases the home inspection is on a timeline as well. I usually set 7 to 10 days as the time limit for inspections. So you or your agent will need to schedule the inspection—I recommend within a few days—as soon as possible.
Most inspectors now put their reports online and you can download them. They include photos and comments about the condition of the home you’re purchasing. You and your Realtor® should discuss the inspection and whether you will approach the seller about making some repairs or offering concessions.
Moving quickly starting the financing and the inspection gives you a greater cushion to make good decisions and to allow for the inevitable unexpected obstacles that arise in almost all home purchases.
THE THIRD THING
Buying a home is a big deal. There is so much we wrap up in owning our own space. After all we create memories in our homes There might be a good bit of stress. But there doesn’t have to be.
Enjoy this part of the process as you move from your existing home—maybe even an apartment—to your new home. Maybe it’s your dream home. Maybe you are upsizing or downsizing. There are so many about which to be excited.