Navigation

10 Things To Do After Your Offer is Accepted - Checklist for Home Buyers

10 Thing To Do Once Your Offer Has Been Accepted


What Happens After The Seller Accepts My Offer?Buying a house takes time, energy, and focus. Getting through the process without making a mistake or losing your mind is tricky. Completing your loan pre-approval, finding the right house, structuring a competitive offer, and executing a sales contract can be exhausting.

Once you have a signed sales contract in hand, it may feel as though your work stops here; unfortunately, this is not the case. An accepted offer is only the beginning of the process; there's a lot more work to do to get your transaction closed. The most common question buyers ask after their offer gets accepted: "What happens next?".

This article will help you stay on track and make sure that you are adequately prepared to close your transaction without any unnecessary drama. If one of these steps gets overlooked, it can delay your closing; or possibly sabotage your entire home purchase.

I am a Realtor who has helped hundreds of homebuyers through the process. I've created a list of 10 items below that you need to take care of once you are under contract on a home. This list will help you stay on-track.

 


Home Buyer Checklist - 10 Things to Do Once Your Offer is Accepted

Must do A.S.A.P

Point 1EARNEST MONEY

Earnest money is your proof as a buyer that you "earnestly" want to purchase their home. This cash deposit involved at the beginning of the transaction protects the seller's interests as they take their house off of the market.

Some REALTORS® will collect earnest money from you before they submit your offer. Others will coordinate the earnest money drop off after an offer is accepted. Whatever your scenario is, make sure that your earnest money is delivered on time and in the proper payment form. This information is typically agreed upon and documented in your sales contract.


Point 2 PROPERTY INSPECTIONS

Once you have an executed sales contract in hand, the clock starts on your inspection period. Make sure you know how long your inspection period is, and that you complete your inspections on time. There are multiple types of inspectors that you may need to schedule. A standard home inspector is the most common, but radon, pest, septic, sewer lines, structural, HVAC, meth, and mold inspections may also be relevant to your buying situation. Discuss your options with your REALTOR®. Make sure that you have resolved any inspection issues within the time agreed upon in your sales contract.


Point 3 LENDER DOCUMENTS

As soon as you have an executed sales contract on a home, you or your Realtor will need to communicate with your mortgage lender to make sure that they get a copy of the said contract. As soon as they receive it, they will start the mortgage process for your transaction.

To begin this process, your lender will start asking for a myriad of paperwork. Be prepared to provide plenty of documentation throughout the transaction. Make sure that you get the requested documentation to them ASAP to limit any problems with their timeline. Gathering and organizing all of these documents can quickly become overwhelming; not providing them to your lender on time can slow their process down.

Some lenders are not as thorough with regards to checking in with you to keep you updated on their progress. If this is the case, make sure that you are checking in with them to verify that they are on track. Your REALTOR® should help you with this as well. If a lender does not complete the loan process on time, it can cause you to be in breach of your sales contract by not closing on time. A violation of the agreement will allow the seller to terminate the transaction and to keep your earnest money.

If you stall on any requested lender docs, you can be sure that the finger will be pointed at you if they are not ready in time. Make sure that you avoid this situation by promptly providing any documentation to your mortgage lender as soon as they request it.


What's Next

Point 4TITLE COMMITMENT

This step is handled by the Title Company or law office, facilitating the transaction. They will issue a Title Commitment that reviews the title history of the property (chain of title) and discloses any liens against the property that need to resolving before closing.

Be sure to review your title commitment and ask an attorney for advice if you see anything within it that concerns you. Most title commitments are straightforward and require no additional work on your part. Just be sure to review it thoroughly before moving on to the next step.


Point 5APPRAISAL

Once you have cleared the Inspection process, let your lender know. They will then order a home appraisal to verify that the value of the home you're purchasing is worth the loan amount that you are requesting. In Colorado, appraisers have ten business days to complete the appraisal, starting from the order date. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure that your lender orders your assessment as soon as possible. You will likely be paying for the appraisal. It's best to wait until after you and the seller have reached a satisfactory agreement regarding your inspection objections.


Point 6 HOME INSURANCE & WARRANTIES

Your lender will require you to have a Home Owner's Insurance Policy on the property that you are purchasing before closing. You should shop around and choose the homeowner's insurance provider and policy that works best for you. Once you have the plan in place, let your lender, REALTOR®, and title company know.

Home warranties are also accessible within real estate transactions. Some sellers will provide an allowance for you to purchase a home warranty. If you're buying a home warranty, you'll want to shop around and find the home warranty company that best suits your needs. Once you have found the right home warranty provider, be sure that the title company knows who you plan to use as soon as possible.


Final Steps

Point 7TURN ON UTILITIES

Now that you're past all of the significant steps required to purchase your home, you will want to get your utilities turned on or transferred into your name. In Colorado, the sellers often provide all of the relevant utility contact info in the Seller's Disclosure.

In the Summer months, when the local real estate market is busy, you may want to do this at least a week before closing to make sure that they can process your request before closing.


Point 8SCHEDULE YOUR CLOSING

Your sales contract will have an agreed-upon closing date. Make sure that you or your REALTOR® have contacted the title company in advance to make sure they have a time slot open that is convenient for your schedule. Title companies often book up during the busy Summer months, so be sure to do this at least a week or two ahead of time.

Most buyers and sellers will attend the closing together, so your REALTOR® may need to coordinate this with the listing agent as well. This step is usually easy - just make sure that it doesn't get pushed off until the last minute so that the title company can accommodate your request.


Point 9 FINAL WALKTHROUGH

It is wise to do a Final Walkthrough before the closing. The purpose of a Final Walkthrough is to verify that repairs are complete, that all of the seller's personal belongings are removed, and to make sure that the home is ready to move in.

The final walkthrough is not a time to renegotiate repair items on the sales contract. It's merely a safeguard to make sure that no significant issues arise that could cause the closing to terminate, which would likely be followed by legal proceedings to mitigate the problems. Minor annoyances like finding a few burned-out light bulbs during your final walkthrough shouldn't be a reason for you to delay your closing.


Point 10 CLOSE THE TRANSACTION

One the day of closing, you will need to have your driver's license (or other approved photo ID) and certified funds (cashier's check or wire transfer) for any monetary amount required from you at closing. You will meet at the title company to sign all of the required documentation.

A typical closing usually takes less than an hour. As the buyer, if you're getting a loan, you will be signing the lion's share of the paperwork, so get that John Hancock ready! Once the documentation is approved, and your lender has funded the transaction, the house is yours! Hurray!


Final Thoughts

Buyers Love ClosingsEach of the ten steps listed above has the potential to sabotage your home purchase. Make sure that you stay on top of your transaction to identify any potential issues before they arise.

If you have a suitable mortgage lender and REALTOR®, they will catch these issues immediately. They will keep you in the loop through each step of the transaction and protect your interests. A good REALTOR® is your best resource to make sure that every step above gets met on time with no added drama.

Unfortunately, your REALTOR® or mortgage lender may disappear once you have a signed contract. If you aren't confident in your REALTOR's ® ability to keep track of the transaction, take charge and communicate directly with your lender and title company to make sure that everything is moving along as planned.

Buying a home takes time and energy, but it's gratifying. After you sign the papers at closing and get your keys, all of your hard work will have paid off, and you will feel a wave of excitement as you move on to enjoy your new home and your next phase of life!

10 Thing To Do Once Your Offer Has Been Accepted


Andrew Fortune

Hi! I'm Andrew Fortune, the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of much of the content on this website. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to share this article with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers.


Our Most Recent Blog Posts:

  • 22 Things to Know Before Moving to Colorado Springs

    🧐 Here's a list of 22 things you need to know before moving to Colorado Springs, CO.

  • Steps to Take Before Listing Your House for Sale

    👉This is a great resource that offers critical steps for home sellers before listing their home for sale.

  • August 2020 Colorado Springs Real Estate Market Report

    🔥Newest MARKET INSIDER - Quick, easy-to-follow info with last month's stats from our local MLS data.

  • Common Fees in Real Estate

    💵 This article breaks down all of the fees associated with buying and owning a home.

  • How Do Colorado Water Rights Affect Real Estate?

    💧If you're buying a home on acreage, please read through this.

  • 12 Best Neighborhoods in Colorado Springs

    🏠 Ready to explore Colorado Springs? Check out these 12 neighborhoods that we absolutely love.


GreatColoradoHomes.com Logo

Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog

Try Our Custom Home Search Tool

With more search options than any other local website.

Explore Local Areas

Here's a quick list of homes for sale in all the local areas and neighborhoods.

Meet our REALTORS®

Meet some of the best REALTORS® in Colorado Springs and Woodland Park.