Step 4 in the Buying Process – My offer was accepted – now what??
As one of the top agents in the area, having sold in the 100s of Millions in property – These are the things I have found you need to keep in mind after your offer has been accepted.
- 1. Escrow will open – what does this mean? Escrow is an independent third party that ensures the contract to purchase a home that has been mutually agreed upon by both buyer and seller is followed. As the buyer, these are some basic things you need to keep in mind that need to happen in a timely matter.
- 2. Your deposit needs to be wired into escrow. This is typically 3% of the purchase price, and it needs to get to escrow typically within three business days. I ALWAYS urge my buyers NOT to delay on this as it sends a signal quickly to the seller how serious you are making sure this deal
- 3. You need to alert your lender ASAP that you have opened escrow so she/he can get the process going for you loan approval and order the appraisal. You would have agreed on a stipulated time period in the offer with the seller – but again, I urge my buyers not to delay or procrastinate –
because there are always things that come up!!
- 4. You need to order your inspections – again, there is a time period that would have been agreed to during negotiations. It is best not to delay. I always suggest at least 4 inspections right away – a general inspection, a fireplace/chimney inspection, termite inspection and sewer/septic inspection. These are typically your big-ticket items, and a general inspector will not inspect those things. Once the general is complete, it might be suggested that a specialist comes out to further inspect things such as roofs, pools, or foundation for example.
- 5. After inspections are done – you will have the option of negotiating repairs and/or credits for work that needs to be done.
- 6. You need to make sure you have ordered insurance for your home. This is one thing that very often falls through the cracks and will get remembered at the last minute. It takes some time for an insurance policy to be bound, so don’t wait! You will typically need fire and homeowner’s insurance. Sometimes, this is one policy, but there are times when you need a separate fire insurance policy – especially if your home is in a location such as the foothills that is considered higher in risk for fire.
- 7. You need to make sure you order utilities on the property transferred. The seller of the property needs to order them turned off, usually first, and then you need to order them turned on in your name. I typically suggest this happen the day after close for a seamless transition.