Offer Accepted, Now What?

Once your offer is accepted by the seller and all parties have signed the purchase contract, the next phase of your home buying journey begins! There’s a lot that happens between the time the offer is accepted and the agreed upon closing date, so here is an overview of 10 steps that are completed during that time frame. 

  1. You Submit your Earnest Money Deposit- Your first contractual responsibility as the buyer will be to provide your Earnest Money Deposit, also known as the EMD. These funds are what you are willing to put on the line to show that you are serious about completing the purchase and is typically 1-3% of the purchase price. The amount that you choose is written into your purchase contract. The EMD is held in a separate escrow account by the settlement company, which acts as a neutral 3rd party throughout the transaction. The EMD is not the same thing as your down payment, but will be credited towards your closing costs. To learn more about EMDs, check out the video linked here.

  2. Condo Association or Homeowners Association Resale Package Review- If the home you are purchasing is in a condo association and/or a homeowners association, the seller is responsible for providing you with the association’s resale package which includes all of the rules and regulations and financial information for the community. Unless otherwise agreed upon, once you receive the resale docs, you will have a 3 day period to read and review them. During that review period, you have the right to cancel the contract based on anything you read in the Condo or HOA resale package without further financial obligation to the seller. 

  3. Home Inspection- The purchase contract will state if you have an inspection contingency and the length of that contingency. Within the agreed timeframe of that contingency, you will hire a professional licensed home inspector of your choice to do a thorough inspection of the property and provide you with a detailed report of their findings. We are happy to recommend trusted inspectors and can take care of scheduling on your behalf. Unless otherwise agreed upon in the contract, you will then have the opportunity to request that the seller make repairs or provide you with a credit at closing to remedy any issues that may need to be addressed.  If a satisfactory solution cannot be reached then you may have the option to cancel the contract under the terms of your home inspection contingency. 

  4. Secure Homeowner’s Insurance- In Northern Virginia this is also known as Hazard Insurance. If you are getting a mortgage for your purchase, your lender will require that you have homeowner’s insurance. It’s important to start the process of getting insurance soon after your offer is accepted because you have 7 days from ratification to submit an insurance application and we want you to confirm the home is insurable, understand the cost of insurance and promptly get your lender all of the required documents from the insurance company. And don’t worry, your policy won’t go into effect until you become the new owner of the home. 

  5. Financing Contingency- The purchase contract will state if you have a finance contingency and the length of that contingency. The financing contingency will come into play if you are getting a mortgage for the purchase. During this time, the lender will be submitting your loan application through the complete underwriting process in order to issue a final loan commitment letter.  It is imperative that you quickly respond to your lender with any requests they may have during this time so that your file can be fully reviewed during the timeframe  of your financing contingency. If you are not able to secure a loan and are issued a denial letter from the lender, then you may have the option to cancel the contract under the terms of your financing contingency. 

  6. Appraisal Contingency- The purchase contract will state if you have an appraisal contingency and the length of that contingency. An appraisal is a value assessment of a property that the financial institution issuing the loan requires to ensure that the property is worth the purchase price. An appraisal is completed by a licensed and certified appraiser who is a neutral third party and is in no way connected to the transaction. The mortgage company orders the appraisal and the buyer is usually responsible for the cost. In the event that the property appraises for less than the purchase price, the terms of the appraisal contingency in the sales contract will detail the buyer's options to either request the seller re-negotiate the purchase price or cancel the contract.

  7. Title-The settlement company whom you choose as the buyer will perform a 60 year title search to make sure that the seller can issue you a clear, marketable and insurable title. If there are any title issues, the settlement company will inform us so that we can discuss the details with you and review the options or remedies available based on the type of issue.

  8. Review the Closing Documents- The lender and the title company will send you documents ahead of time to review- usually 24-48 hours before closing.  Our point of contact for each of these service providers will gladly take time to review any questions you might have and we are also happy to review the documents with you ahead of your closing date.   

  9. Final Walkthrough- The final walkthrough is your last visit to the property before closing to make sure the home is in the same or better condition than what was agreed upon in the contract. We will walk through the property with you and go through a checklist to make sure everything is as it should be.

  10. Closing Day- Approximately 2 weeks before the big day, we will help you schedule a time to either go into the settlement company to sign all your final closing documents or arrange for a mobile notary to come to you, if that’s allowed by your lender. You will need to follow the settlement company’s instructions to wire the funds needed to close, which includes the balance of your downpayment and remaining closing costs. Once everything is signed and the funds have been received, we will hand you the keys to your new home and you will officially become the new owner!

If you have questions or are ready to begin the home buying process, just complete the form below, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly!

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