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What To Expect When You Are Expecting To Buy A Home
Every home purchase is different and details will vary. Your Realtor will be there each step. If you are a first-time buyer who plans on purchasing a single-family residence in Texas, here is some advice on what you can expect when you are ready to place an offer:
After the offer
It could take hours or days for the seller to respond.
There is usually a period of negation before the offer is accepted. Price is not the only thing. The seller may counter with things like changing the title company, amount of earnest money, or the number of days for the option period.
Once all items are agreed upon, both parties sign and you have a contract to buy the house. All details and negotiated items can be found in the contract.
Earnest Money and Option Fee checks must be delivered within the first couple of days. The title company holds the earnest money. The seller receives the option money.
Earnest money is credited to the buyer at closing. The option money may be credited as well.
The option period is used by the buyer to have the property inspected. Your Realtor can recommend an inspector if you do not have one.
Inspection costs will vary and it will take a few hours to complete. He will review the report with you and answer any questions.
Based on the inspection report, you could expect to ask the seller to make repairs.
A repair request will focus on items that are broken or do not function as intended. Do not expect sellers to address cosmetic items or make replacements or upgrades due to age.
Choose your lender wisely. Their ability to meet deadlines, anticipate underwriting issues, and close on time will effect you and could cost you your earnest money. Take recommendations from your family, friends or your Realtor.
The next deadline is the lender’s Conditional Approval. This is a more in-depth look at your financials, employment and credit.
The day the contract is signed, your lender should be asking for more documents. Get them delivered fast so if something comes up, you know about it early enough to resolve it.
You will need to choose a home owner's insurance policy and a home warranty company.
If the seller is paying for the home warranty, it will be paid for at the time of closing.
An appraisal is completed to determine the value of a property. The lender will not loan more than the maximum appraised value.
You will most likely pay for the appraisal before your lender orders it.
If the value is determined to be lower than the contract amount, the seller can agree to reduce the contract price.
If the seller refuses to reduce the contract price, the contract can be cancelled and your earnest money returned. Another option would be to pay the difference out of your pocket.
The lender will require a survey. A previous survey can be provided by the seller.
If no survey is available, one will be ordered by the title company prior to close. It could be paid for by the buyer or seller based on terms of the contract.
Are we there yet?
About a week before closing day, your loan should be submitted to the underwriter for final approval.
To avoid any issues, respond quickly to any underwriter requests and avoid any purchases until after closing. They could run your credit hours before closing.
Changes to your employment or bank funds should also be avoid until afterwards.
Contact the utility companies, including possibly a gas utility, so everything is on for moving day.
Any requested repairs should be complete, receipts received and schedule the final walk through prior to close.
Closing will take place at the title company. The exact amount needed for closing is provided by your lender.
Good funds can be wired or brought to closing with bank issued certified funds. Personal checks and money orders are not accepted. (Be aware of wire instructions scams that may include emails that appear legitimate and even from people you know, like your Realtor. Before wiring any funds, call the title company and verbally verify wiring instructions.)
You can expect it to take about 30 minutes to an hour to sign all the documents. Make sure you bring a government issued picture ID.
Most of the documents are required by the lender in order to process the loan. The escrow officer will briefly describe each form and answer your questions.
There should be no surprises at the closing table. If something is not as you expected, get clarification as to why. You should feel comfortable that it was explained or corrected.
Taking possession of your home could be delayed if funding is required first or if you agreed to allow the seller additional time after closing.
Once it is time, title will let everyone know. Keys and garage door openers are then released. I recommend that you change all locks.
At the end of all this, your beautiful new home awaits! Remember if anything happens to go wrong, contact your home warranty company first. This is usually paid for by the seller and they can handle most issues that come up during the first year.
*My goal here is to give you a general idea of what happens after you decide to make an offer. So many different things can happen, there is no way to cover them all. Your Realtor will be right there to guide you but at least now you have an idea of some things to expect.
Anything happened that you didn’t expect or want to add for new home buyers? Feel free to comment below.