What Happens After a Seller Accepts Your Offer?
After a seller accepts your offer, you’re in the home stretch. However, before you close, you still need to:
- Complete your formal loan application
- Wait for the appraisal
- Have the home inspected
- Buy homeowners insurance
- Do a final walk-through
Scroll down for a closer look at each.
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#1. Complete Your Formal Loan Application
If you had mortgage pre-approval, you’re positioned well to segue right into a mortgage. After a seller accepts your offer, unless you’re paying in cash, you need to complete your formal loan application. Often, this process takes several weeks as under writers review your file and reconfirm your eligibility to borrow money to buy a home.
Related: 7 homebuying secrets that most people don’t know
#2. Wait for the Appraisal
Your lender will most likely send an appraiser, at your cost, to the home to make sure that it’s worth what you want to borrow to pay for it. The appraisal tells your lender how much money it should give you.
If the appraisal comes in saying that the home’s value is higher than what you want to pay, you’re golden. However, if the appraisal comes in saying that the home is worth less than what you want to pay, you may have an issue on your hands.
If the appraisal is low, your lender will probably offer to give you the home’s value and leave you to come up with the rest of the cash. At that point, you can negotiate with the seller for a lower price, come up with the money on your own, or walk away from the real estate transaction with your earnest money intact.
#3. Have the Home Inspected
As the buyer, it’s your responsibility to hire A home inspector. Home inspection is a necessity, because it lets you know what types of issues the home has before you sign the dotted line. If there are any issues that would negatively impact your ability to enjoy the home, you’ll learn about them during the inspection.
If an issue does arise during the home inspection, you have the option of asking the seller to fix it, asking the seller to lower the price or walking away from the deal.
Related: 5 things to watch for if you’re buying a home as-is
#4. Buy Homeowners Insurance
You typically have to come to the closing table with a homeowners insurance policy. Your lender won’t let you close on the transaction if you’re not insured. You can use the time between offer acceptance and closing to scout out a good policy that meets your needs.
#5. Do a Final Walk-Through
The last step before you close on the home is the final walk-through. During your walk-through, you’ll have an opportunity to double-check that the seller made all the repairs and improvements that you agreed upon. You can also check the condition of the home and make sure it’s up to par. You can even check to make sure that the seller cleaned it well enough for you to move in. If you approve of the home’s condition during your final walkthrough, you’ll move on to closing. (If you don’t, you’ll have an opportunity to ask the seller to make it right.)
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