Offer Accepted, Now What?
Once your offer is accepted by the seller it starts the next phase of the transaction.
In North Carolina, to get your offer accepted on the home you want to purchase, you typically have to offer about 1% of the purchase price of the property between a Due Diligence Fee and an Earnest Money Deposit, which will be held with an attorney and applied to the final purchase of your property.
By the time this happens, you have already come to an agreement with the seller on the closing date and the contingencies. This period is usually 30 days and each item specified in the contract must be completed satisfactorily.
Each contract is different, but most include the following six items:
- Inspection contingency: All of your inspections should be completed as soon as possible after the contract is signed. If the results of the inspection are unsatisfactory you can negotiate repairs or cancel the contract.
- Financing contingency: Once the contract is signed, you have a period of time to secure funding. If you are unable to secure funding during the period of time granted to you by the contract (and the seller will not provide a written extension of time), you must decide whether you want to cancel the purchase. This is why being pre-approved before shopping for a property is so important!
- A requirement that the seller must provide a marketable title. The title must be "clear" to ensure that you do not have legal issues regarding your ownership. This basically just means the seller must actually have the right to sell the property (cousin Carl can't sell the property if he's not on the deed), and to sell without hindrances (cousin Carl can't sell the property even if he's on the deed if 10 other cousins that no one knows about are also on the deed and they don't want to sell). We can help you look into local and state ordinances regarding property transfer and make sure that you and/or the seller have complied with them.
- Secure homeowner's insurance. This is always required before you can close on your new home, if you're getting a mortgage. If you're paying cash, you don't have to get insurance, though it's highly suggested. It is best to apply for insurance toward the end of the transaction after most other things have been worked out.
- Contact local utility companies. You'll need to schedule to have service turned on when you close on your home. You should also do this toward the end of the transaction, about 1 week before closing.
- Schedule the final walk-through inspection. Your final walkthrough is typically scheduled the night before or even the morning of closing. At this time, you should make sure that the property is exactly as the contract says it should be. What you thought to be a "permanently attached" chandelier that would come with the property might have been removed by the seller and replaced with a different fixture entirely. You also want to make sure that the home is still in good shape, i.e. no pipes have burst because of cold weather, etc. You own the home once you close, but you don't own it until then. So if the property has been severely damaged in some way, you don't have to proceed to closing.
Congratulations, you are on your way to owning your very own home! Follow these suggestions (and the advice of your Realtor®) so that escrow and settlement with go as smoothly as possible. And don't forget to contact us if you're ready to find your dream home and begin making an offer, if you're not under contract already.
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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