We made an offer on a home....now what happens?

Real Estate Agent with Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon

We made an offer on a home....now what happens?

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.




Posted by


Knowledgeable, Approachable, Service Oriented

Cindy Westfall ABR,GRI

Premiere Property Group,LLC

5000 Meadows Rd., Ste. 150, Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Cell: 503-819-5241      

E-Mail: cindy@cindywestfall.com



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Disclaimer: All views on my blog are my own and may not reflect that of Premiere Property Group. All pictures and content are my own unless otherwise noted. Please No Copying without my permission.

 Cynthia Westfall is licensed in Oregon State


Comments (7)

Susan Goulding
Mountain House Real Estate - Mountain House, CA
Short Sales, Mountain House Homes for Sale

That is an awesome list -- I'm going to re-blog it ...  Thanks for allowing that.

Jan 12, 2011 05:10 PM
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

This is a well thought post.  It is quite complete.  Good work.

Jan 12, 2011 05:14 PM
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning Cindy, excellent input for the home buyer to review!

Jan 12, 2011 09:11 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Great post, Cindy.  You have answered the question and helped buyers to better understand the process.  I've suggested for a Feature.

Jan 13, 2011 12:59 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Suggested.  Make copies and hand it out to all your clients. This will save you loads of time and effort in explaining the process over and over again.

Jan 13, 2011 01:21 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Tim, thanks!

Hi Dan, We are always explaining the procedure anyway..it's easier to have it all on one form

Jan 13, 2011 01:25 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Sharon, The fun is looking at homes, but the complexity and questions always come once the offer is made as to what to expect. I wrote this list up for a recent client who was experienced in home buying, but still asked me what steps they will need to go through. Thanks for the suggest!

Hi Jill, I made this on my own form and I put it in with my sales agreement packet so the buyer has it when we are writing up the offer. Things of course do come up here and there, but at least they know the main steps of the process. Thanks for suggesting!

Jan 13, 2011 01:30 AM