Congratulations! You’re offer has been accepted!
To get the transaction started, the listing agent or myself will send the purchase contract to the escrow company chosen so that an escrow account can be opened.
The following are steps for you to begin taking immediately:
- You will need to wire transfer the initial deposit OR (if you specified on the contract) deliver a cashier’s or personal check to escrow (this needs to be done within 3 business days of accepted offer). If wiring, I will forward escrow's wire instructions as soon as I receive.
- Contact a home inspector to schedule a home inspection ASAP. You will have 17 days to do the inspection and negotiate repairs, so better to start right away. Cost is $300-$500 depending on the size of the home. Make sure to bring your checkbook to the inspection as payment will be due that day. I can send you a list of qualified inspectors and the times I am available to be present as well. The inspection may take up to 2 hours, during which time he will inspect the entire property and give you a summary of what he found at the end. If you cannot make it for the entire time, being present for the summary at the end is most important, as I will be there from start to finish anyway. The inspector will provide you with a detailed written report within 24 hours to summarize his findings.
- Start shopping around for homeowners (hazard) insurance, as your lender and escrow will ask who you’ve chosen.
- If a pest control inspection is required, and it was negotiated in the contract as your responsibility, then you should contact a pest control company ASAP to schedule the inspection. You have 17 days to do the inspection and negotiate repairs (unless stated otherwise in the contract). Most pest control companies will bill escrow for the inspection and repairs, and it will be included in your closing costs.
I'm sure your loan officer has already advised you, but to reiterate, it is very important from this point until closing that you do not:
- continue shopping around for better loan pricing. Switching lenders once you are several days into the transaction can affect the timelines for contingency removals and ability to close escrow on time.
- make any new "major" purchases on your credit cards or obtain a new auto loan. These additional expenses once you have been pre-approved for this home loan can change your debt to income ratio and possibly affect your loan approval for this purchase.
- make any large "cash" deposits over $100 without proof of where it came from, nor any other large deposits without verifying with your loan officer first.
The Lender will hopefully have ordered the appraisal by this time. Cost is approximately $500-$700. Your lender should have contacted you regarding payment already. Typically they will need you to write a check or give credit card info to them to pay for it before it is ordered. *VERY IMPORTANT – Communicate with me right away on any decision you and/or the lender have made to hold off on paying for or ordering the appraisal for any reason. This can affect our ability to comply with contingency removal timeframes and closing on time.
If we did not send proof of funds for closing costs and down payment with the purchase contract and the listing agent is now requesting it, we will need to do so within 3 days of acceptance. Please have this ready to go.
Seller has to have all disclosures to you by Day 7. You will receive them from me or my transaction coordinator via Docusign to sign electronically.
You should have received a package of documents to complete from the escrow company by now. If you don't receive it within 7 business days, please let me know. This package needs to be completed, signed and returned within 5 days of receipt. Call me if you have any questions concerning the documents in the package. **One of the questions I get is "how should I take title to the property?" Click here for some helpful information on the different ways you can take title. Or you may want to consult an attorney or tax advisor to determine the most advantageous form of ownership for your particular situation. The decision is ultimately yours.
If additional inspections, such as roof, pool, soil, plumbing, etc., are recommended by the home inspector, these should be scheduled as soon as possible.
All of your inspections should be complete and reports sent to you. We will put together a reasonable request for repairs at this time. Keep in mind that as mentioned in the Purchase Agreement Contract under line #11, the Seller does not have to agree to any of these repairs as you are agreeing to buy the property "as-is". The seller can agree to all of your requests, some of them, or none. If they are reasonable requests, they can typically be negotiated by both parties. If you are not happy with their response, you do have the option at this point to cancel the contract and not proceed with the purchase.
You will need to sign off on all contingencies, except the loan. This includes all disclosures, the appraisal, due diligence, insurance and inspections. At this point you are at risk of losing your initial deposit if you cancel for any reason other than not qualifying for the loan, as you have already signed off on all other contingencies.
You will need to sign off on all remaining contingencies, including the loan. Once you do this, you are at risk of losing your initial deposit if you change your mind or can’t complete the sale for ANY reason.
Begin making final preparations for your move with the moving company and also calling the utility companies to have the services switched over into your name as of the date escrow closes.
This is the time to perform a final walk through inspection of the property 2-5 days before close of escrow. Make sure that the property is in the same condition as when you made the offer and that all repairs have been made if requested and agreed to.
Day 27: Escrow will contact you to schedule an appointment to come into their office to sign the loan documents a few days before close of escrow, and will advise if additional money will be needed to close the transaction. If additional money is needed, Escrow will require you to either wire or bring a cashier's check to the signing of your loan documents.
Day 29: The lender will review your signed loan documents and authorize wiring of the money.
Day 30: Escrow will send the grant deed to the county for recording. Once confirmation is received from escrow that it has been recorded, I will contact you immediately to let you know you are now officially "homeowners"! Then, my favorite part of the process…I will coordinate a time with you to give you your keys! Welcome Home J
Day 31: Escrow will balance the account and prepare closing papers and any refund you may be entitled to. They will mail the package out to you, or wire the refund if you checked that method on your escrow instructions, within 24 hours.
**This informational guide is based on a standard 30 day escrow. If you have an escrow period longer than 30 days, everything after Day 17 will be delayed.
This informational guide is copyrighted© and is a collaborative effort between Realtors® Karen May and Kara Brem of Windermere Homes & Estates