The road to ownership – The blog of a first time home buyer
Your offer is accepted and you nearly have the keys to your new house, congrats! There’s just a few steps, called conditions, that you have to take that will take your accepted offer to a sold home. Typically, you’ll have around two weeks to take care of these, which may seem like a lot, but trust me, you’ll want to tackle these as soon as you can.
One invaluable thing Rob had ready for me throughout my process was a “Roadmap to Sold”, a checklist and explanation of the conditions, when they were due, and some recommended companies to work with. If you’re not working with Rob, ask your REALTOR®️ for one such list, hopefully they’ll have something similar for you which will really help keep everything in order.
- Accepted offer sent to mortgage specialist
Once your offer is accepted and has the final signatures from all parties, it will be sent to your mortgage specialist to begin the financing approval. Make sure you contact your mortgage specialist right away to find out what they still need from you and get it to them ASAP! The final application cannot be submitted for approval until they have all the required documents and this part takes the longest.
In my case, I needed to get two extra documents, even though they were fine for the pre approval. Silly things like the date of my partner’s employment letter, which was within 60 days when we were pre-approved, but once we actually were trying to buy, it was “too old”, so we needed another one. You could be asked for nearly anything, so be sure you get this step started as soon as possible!
- Submit the deposit
With your agreement, you’re required to submit a deposit, which is held by the company who has the property listed for sale. Who you send the deposit to, and for how much, depends on your deal, so be sure to get the exact details from your REALTOR®️.
- Insurance Quotes
It’s a good idea to call at least three different insurance companies and obtain quotes for property insurance. This is a self-fulfilling condition, so you are looking for coverage and cost that you are satisfied with. Basically, you can look into this as much or as little as you’d like, then tell your REALTOR®️ you’re all set and boom, condition complete. You don’t actually purchase a policy at this stage, it’s just getting quotes.
From my experience, please do check many different places. I went to four; the first three were all within $50 per year of each other, the fourth was $600 less for even better coverage. Shop around! There may also be discounts for your university or career field, for details like how many smoke detectors or security cameras you have, etc. Also, bundling in your auto insurance may save you more.
- Property Disclosure Statement
You’ll receive a copy of the Property Disclosure Statement form filled out by the sellers. This form covers many topics and is to be completed based on the best of their knowledge while they lived at the property. You’ll review the results with your REALTORⓇ to get an idea of what the seller has dealt with while they lived in the home.
- Home Inspection
By now, you should have received the financing approval letter from your mortgage specialist and are on the home stretch. This, too, is a self-fulfilling condition and is meant for you to have a more thorough look at the property. Although it is highly recommended to hire a professional home inspector to help you meet this condition, it is not mandatory that you use one. You may choose to have/hire independent trades (carpenter, electrician, plumber, landscaper, etc.) to view the property, or inspect the property on your own. The purpose of the inspection is to have a better understanding and to be satisfied with the property you are purchasing.
While the inspection will cost you money, not running into an unforeseen repair in the near future is worth the peace of mind, in my opinion. The results of your inspection will also give you leverage if you do need to renegotiate your offer based on what you find. Discuss your options with your REALTORⓇ.
Once completed, your REALTORⓇ will ask you the following: Knowing what you know now, do you still want to purchase the property? The answer should be Yes or No. However, if there is a larger issue that you had no prior knowledge of and it greatly alters your opinion of the property, but not enough to fully walk away, you may ask for the sellers to correct the issue or reduce the purchase price to offset the concern.
- Water Sample (for homes on well water)
When purchasing a property outside the city limits (not on city mains water), it is a requirement of the banks for there to be drinkable water at the property. Water samples should be taken at the time of the inspection and it is highly recommended to have a professional (Home Inspectors count) collect and deliver the water sample to the lab. Although, it is not mandatory for a professional to take the sample.
Once all the boxes are checked and forms signed, and you don’t have anything to change about your offer, the house is officially sold! Congratulations! Your move date might be next week, or it could be months away, but the house is officially (almost) yours! Next week I’m going to focus a little bit on the real cost of closing the deal.
Andy Tree is a professional Wedding Photographer, marketing expert, coffee lover, millennial, board game enthusiast, and overall nerd. Over the next weeks he’ll fill you in on every step of his search and first home purchase.
Send us a message on Facebook if you have any specific questions or if you’re ready to start your own search!