I love working with first time home buyers, they are very excited about the endeavour and I’ve helped them to reach a new milestone in their life, purchasing their first home. Of course, one of the most nerve wracking moments through the entire process is making the offer, and having that offer accepted by the seller. It feels like we have climbed a mountain to get here…
Congratulations, you have an accepted offer!
As a Realtor®, I know the home buying process can be very stressful and confusing. Let’s review what the process looks like once you have picked the home that’s right for your family and achieved an accepted offer. If you have a good agent, they will have guided you through the contract for purchase and helped you put some conditions in place for your protection. These conditions must be satisfied by a certain date, so I always suggest that my clients get started on them right away.
The first thing that should be tackled on your list is getting the signed contract to your mortgage specialist so they can start working on securing your mortgage. In many cases, you can avoid facing potential issues by ensuring your lender has everything they require to complete the loan process. Sometimes the bank will ask for an appraisal, which they may not be able to book immediately. If this is the case, making sure your lender has what they need, so they may book this appointment as soon as possible, can help to ensure that you meet your contractual dead lines.
The next step should be securing a qualified home inspector. This is a crucial step for anyone who is purchasing a home, which ensures that the new owner avoids any unexpected and potentially costly surprises after moving in. I always recommend that my clients get a home inspection done, as it will provide confidence in their investment as well as peace of mind.
Reviewing documentation as it becomes available to you. Like the title search, which is a document that once you receive, is very important to read & understand. If there are any concerns with the home, they would be listed on the title. Things such as easements, restrictive covenants, right of ways, pending litigation’s and financial encumbrances, which may be registered against the property, will appear on this document. Don’t panic if you find one or more of these things on title, most properties have some of these items listed but are generally of little consequence to the new home owner. If you do see something of concern to you, this can be discussed further with your agent or lawyer. They can help you understand and make sense of anything your unsure about. Your lawyer will also pull the title again before the sale closes, to ensure nothing has been added since you wrote the offer.
The property disclosure statement is another document that is good to review in full. It is completed by the seller to the best of his/her knowledge. Reading this document should make you aware of any small issues with the home. Once you have explored all the items on the document, you should find yourself satisfied with everything on there. If you are uncomfortable with something on the disclosure statement, talk to your agent about the best way to proceed with resolving the issue.
At this point you will want to contact your insurance agent and confirm you can get insurance on the home at a rate that you are satisfied with.
By now you should have also acquired a lawyer, assuming that all contractual conditions have been met and you are satisfied with the findings. Your Realtor® will need to know which lawyer or notary you are working with. The legal representative is necessary to prepare the documentation, hold the funds in trust until everything is in order, as well as doing that final check on title as we discussed earlier to ensure that it is clear of any outstanding financial encumbrances.
Once all the legal paperwork, financing, & conditions are satisfied, you can prepare for the final step, making your moving arrangements. Hire movers, change your address, swap your utilities, get home insurance, register children in school, hire cleaning help if necessary and start packing!