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I am always asked this question, so I've put together a breakdown of the home buying process from the time an offer is written.
1. Your offer has been submitted to the Seller. One of three things will happen, you will either get a completely signed copy back with an accepted offer, you will get a completely signed offer back with a check in the box that says they do not accept and are making a counter offer, or you will get it returned with the box checked that they are not accepting your offer, with no counter. You will need to sign the area that acknowledges this.
2. You can agree to the counter or make a Buyer's Counter of your own. This can go back and forth until an agreement is either reached or one party terminates.
3. Once mutual agreement is reached, the timelines for contract contingencies start. They always start on the first business day AFTER mutual acceptance. (so if you have agreed on a Friday and there is a holiday on Monday, the first day will be the Tuesday)
Once you reach mutual agreement, this is when the time lines and removal of the contract contingencies begin.
The main contingencies are the following:
A) The Home Inspection (plus any other requested inspections): These need to be scheduled as soon as possible and in the first week. The goal is to have the first week for inspections, and the second week for negotiations of repairs. Ultimately you will want to have all things worked out with the Seller within those two weeks, or an extension will be requested. Once you receive the inspection report, a Repair Addendum is written up requesting the Seller to do these repairs. Negotiations can go back and forth until an agreement is reached, As per the contract, if you do not respond back to the Seller within that 10 day period, you are accepting the home as it is. Once you sign off on this, you are removing this contingency.
B) Deposit of Earnest Money: These funds will need to be deposited into an account, usually in a neutral Escrow account with the Title Company, as per your contract. Typically it is within 3 business days of mutual acceptance. These funds will need to be available upon redemption of check. I also give the Title company a copy of the complete sales agreement.
C) Review of the Seller's Property Disclosures: If the Seller is not exempt (has not lived in the home) then you will receive a copy of the Sellers Property Disclosures. You have 5 business day upon receipt to review, ask questions and sign off. Once you sign off on this, you are removing this contingency
D) Title Report: Once Escrow is opened, you will receive a Preliminary Title Report, a copy of any CC&R's (Conditions, Covenants, & Restrictions) for the neighborhood. This will show if there are any easements that might be attached to the property, liens, etc. You have 5 business days upon receipt to review and sign off. Once you sign off, you are removing this contingency.
E) Appraisal: Once there is a completed agreement, I send a copy of the sales agreement to the Lender. They then start the process on their end with ordering the appraisal. Sometimes an appraisal can come in with a lower sales amount then offered. This will need to be addressed and negotiated.
Once these are all agreed to and signed off on, usually within the first two weeks (appraisals can sometimes take longer) we are now working with the Lender to make sure all is going according to schedule and assisting them in any way. This is also a great time to look into utilities, phone, and all that will need to be hooked up. (Home Services can easily get that information for you)
Signing and Closing: Once the Lender releases the loan documents to the Title company, we can then set up a signing date. Typically you will want to sign two days if possible before the closing date (depending on the bank). After you sign all the documents, it is then sent back once again for underwriting review. This is where if there are any issues, that buffer day comes in handy. On closing day, I usually will get a call letting me know that the funds have been released from the bank. You do not however get possession until the home has been recorded and at the time that is in the contract. Once I get this call, you are called right away!
I have at this point already worked out how the keys, garage door openers, etc. will be given to you.
Congratulations! The home is now yours!
If you're looking for a REALTOR® to represent you or have any questions on any step of the home buying process, please feel free to contact me! Remember, in 95% of homes for sale, the seller is paying my fee, so why not have an agent represent YOU and only you during the purchase process.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.