AFTER YOU HAVE FOUND THE PERFECT HOME, WHAT COMES NEXT?
Submit a sales contract to the seller with an Earnest Money Deposit, at least $1,000 or more depending on the purchase price of the property. This money is deposited in an escrow account by the purchaser's broker until closing, which typically takes place 45 to 60 days later. At closing, the earnest money deposit is applied toward your down payment.
The sales contract will be submitted to the seller. If accepted, it will be signed by the seller, if not; the seller may then make a counteroffer to you or simply turn down your offer and your deposit will be returned to you.
If your contract is accepted, you will then continue the application to your lending institution for a mortgage on this home (if a mortgage is required to complete the purchase). You will need to make the application within the time frame specified in the contract and submit complete financial data including a statement of your assets and liabilities, credit card numbers and other credit references, bank statements and verification of your employment and income. The lender will have the property appraised. You, and the closing attorney you have selected, will be notified once your loan has been approved. Also – your lender will require that you have insurance on the home. You will need to have this information a few weeks before closing. During the loan process and until you close on the home, it is VERY important that you do not make ANY major new purchases, open ANY new lines of credit or make significant charges on existing credit cards. The lender will pull another credit report on you a couple of days before you close on the home to ensure that your financial standing has not changed – if changes have occurred – your loan could be denied for the home.
You will need to have any home inspections completed on the home you have under contract within the time frame in the contract. I will help you set this up.
A real estate attorney or title company will need to be engaged to examine the title, order title insurance and a property survey (if required), coordinate closing documents with your lender and perform the closing. I can provide you a list of closing attorneys or title companies should you need references.
We will schedule a "walk through" of the property prior to closing (usually the day before or the morning of closing) to inspect it before gaining title. You will need to notify (as with the seller) all utilities of the change of ownership and have the transfer to your name effective the day of closing.
The closing is usually held at your attorney's office or title company office and possession of your new home is typically at time of settlement unless otherwise provided for in the purchase contract. The attorney/settlement agent will have received instructions from the lender as to the specific escrow expenses and will be able to provide you with the amount of the total cash needed to complete your purchase. Since it is necessary for you to bring a CERTIFIED OR CASHIERS CHECK, (generally made payable to the attorney/settlement agent) to closing, please contact your attorney/settlement agent at least two days prior to the actual closing date for the amount due.