The buying process. Your offer was accepted! You are actually on the road to buying that turn-of-the-century Victorian on Penniman Avenue in downtown Plymouth that you love so much! Or that home on the Huron River in Ann Arbor that you’ve always dreamed of. Or that home in Canton a short drive from the largest high school campus in the United States.
What happens now? What happens between the seller signing your offer and you moving into your new place? Here is a list of the highlights of what we call “contract to close;” on this page, we’ll cover these 10 points, in order.
Those things said, the purpose of an inspection is not for the seller to repair every item found during an inspection, particularly those things already properly disclosed by the seller on their Seller’s Disclosure Statement.
And while an estimated 70 percent of all homes sold annually involve a home inspection, a surprising amount of confusion remains over what the process does, and doesn’t, involve. Here are seven common misconceptions about home inspections:
We covered radon earlier in the process here. What you need to remember from that is that you need to have a radon test.
Your agent should be able to quickly provide a list of qualified, experienced radon testing companies (and, if they can’t, seek better representation!).
The good news: if a radon problem is found, it is not expensive to fix (usually no more than $1,000), and sellers almost always agree to pay for this (because they know they’ll have to fix the problem one way or another, even if you decide not to buy the home).
It’s also important to note that radon test typically take a minimum of 48 hours to complete, so be sure to schedule yours quickly enough to ensure you don’t run out of time in terms of the amount of time you have to complete your inspections.
If your offer is like most, you’ll also have provisions for other “due diligence” items, like reviewing easements and restrictions, or reviewing condo or homeowners association documents. Exactly as with your home inspection and radon test, your offer will allow you a certain amount of time in which to complete those tasks.
Your offer should also require the seller and or listing agent to provide those items within a certain period of time. Unfortunately, we’ve had plenty of experience where the seller and or listing agent did not provide those items in a timely fashion. Your agent should be on top of this, and she be following up with the listing agent aggressively and consistently until the items are obtained.
In any event, obtain and review those items and be sure to notify the listing agent if you have any issues with whatever you discover. Examples of things that sometimes affect transactions are:
Assuming you are obtaining a mortgage (and if you are not, just skip this point), your lender will not be able to provide your formal loan approval until you provide the details of the home you are purchasing.
At that point, they will order an appraisal. Assuming the home appraises successfully, that should provide them with the last remaining details they need to be able to provide your formal loan approval.
Be sure to follow up with your lender to ensure they have everything they need from you, so that they may complete the loan approval process in the most efficient manner possible. This is also the right time to start checking off the items on your Pre-Closing Checklist.
Once your loan has been formally approved, your agent will communicate that to the listing agent, and the conversation about when the closing will take place will occur. Note that most title companies will not schedule a closing until your loan has been approved.
Once you’ve scheduled your closing, you should be in position to locate a move and formally schedule your move
After you’ve picked the date for your closing, and typically a couple of days before your closing, the title company should complete the first draft of your closing documents. If you are being represented by a quality agent, they will be diligently following up with the title company and obtaining those documents ASAP.
Once obtained, your agent and or your attorney should review the closing documents to ensure everything is in order. Our unfortunate experience is that almost every set of closing documents includes errors (most are not significant, but just know this can be an issue). So, it is important to complete your review as quickly as possible to ensure there are no last minute surprises at your closing!
You should be in close contact with your lender after your formal loan approval, specifically to obtain the information you need regarding what funds you need to bring to closing.
Note that some title companies are now requiring that funds may only be delivered via wire transfer (as opposed to bringing a certified check, which was the norm in the past). As wire transfers sometimes take a full business day to complete, it’s important to find out as early as possible exactly what you need to bring to closing, and exactly how you must deliver it.
If you’ve done everything on this list, then this should be a fun, pleasant, smooth and easy event. If you haven’t (or if the listing agent has not done a good job preparing the seller), then closings can be an adventure.
Hopefully, this will be a moot point and your closing will be a wonderful experience for all involved!
Congratulations! You made it! Now it’s time to move in and enjoy your new home!