Buying your first home is a major milestone. Once you find your dream property and submit an offer, it can be nerve racking to wait and see if the seller will accept. Getting the call that your offer was accepted is elating, but the real work begins once you have an accepted offer.
Celebrate your victory, but don't overlook these important tasks that need to get finished right away in order to complete the purchase of your dream home.
1. Schedule a property inspection.
Most real estate offers that are submitted are contingent upon a successful inspection. No one wants to purchase a home that has significant safety or structural problems. Repairing faulty electrical wiring or investing in a new foundation can be costly.
Once you receive word that your offer has been accepted, you want to schedule a property inspection as soon as possible. By getting the inspection completed quickly, you will have time to negotiate a reduction in price or withdraw your offer and continue your search should the inspector uncover any major issues with your dream home.
2. Notify your lender.
After an offer has been submitted and accepted, a property is referred to as being under contract. You will need to notify your lender and let them know that you are under contract as quickly as possible. The details of your offer will need to be provided to the lender so that the paperwork required to complete your mortgage loan can be prepared.
You may be asked to provide additional documentation (like a copy of the inspection report or a valid insurance policy) before your mortgage can be funded, so letting your loan officer know you are under contract as soon as your offer is accepted gives you plenty of time to supply any additional documents.
3. Submit your earnest money.
In order to show the sellers that your offer is a serious one, you may be asked to put some money down when your offer is accepted. This money is referred to as earnest money. Once the sale of the home is complete, your earnest money will be applied toward any closing costs associated with your purchase.
Some sellers want earnest money to be in cash, while others prefer a check or money order. A deadline is usually set, and if the earnest money isn't deposited into the appropriate account by that date then your offer may be forfeited. Be sure to get your earnest money submitted well in advance of the deadline.
Talk to a real estate agent for more information.