What Happens After My Offer Is Accepted?
You've found the home of your dreams, and we've helped you submit an amazing offer. What happens next? Well, a lot. And as the best real estate agents in Ponte Vedra Beach and Nocatee, we help you until the day you get your keys! Our business is nearly 100% repeat and referral, a testament to our hospitable approach and top notch customer service.
The offer may seem like the end of the process, but it's actually just the beginning of the really important things you need to take care of.
1. Give Your Earnest Money or "Binder" Deposit
Most house sales will include an earnest money deposit to show you are serious about your offer. The deposit will be put into an escrow account. It will count towards your down payment and/or closing fees. It will usually be 1% to 3% of the asking price for the house but is negotiable.
2. Apply for Your Mortgage
Ideally, you've been pre-approved with a lender, but now you need to finalize terms and get ready to sign on the dotted line. This is a crucial step, because even though you have been pre-approved, you still might not be able to get a mortgage, or one with the favorable terms you might have hoped for. You credit score or employment situation might have changed, or the bank's lending policy.
Regardless of where things stand, there's no need to worry! As real estate experts, we work with a number of proven lenders and can provide recommendations based on your specific needs.
3. Get the Home Appraised and Inspected
The appraisal will assess whether or not the price is in line with what the house is worth. No mortgage lender will give you a loan for more than the house is worth. If the home does not appraise for the selling price, we'll have to discuss a plan to cover the "appraisal gap."
The inspection will assess whether the house is in good repair, or whether there might be issues that need to be fixed by the seller before the sale can go through.
We'll help you navigate the inspection process, providing names for two or three reliable home inspectors available to inspect the property. They will produce a detailed report on their findings.
If the house inspection is not perfect, in most cases the seller will have the "right to cure" the issue - that is, time to fix things so the sale does not fall through completely. However, this can take some time and you need to be certain all the repairs are carried out before completing the deal.
If you choose to take them on yourself, then you should be able to reduce your offer because you will be paying for the repairs. We'll help you negotiate any changes to the offer after you receive your inspection report.
4. Get Your Down Payment and Closing Costs Ready
Make sure the funds you need are both accessible. For example, if you plan to take out a loan from your 401k as a deposit, be sure to have the money in an easy-to-access savings account. If you plan to sell stocks and shares, don't wait. Keep all your paperwork to show you have the money ready. And call your bank to see if they have any limits on wiring money.
In terms of the closing costs, be clear about what is involved, like title and deed fees, legal fees and so on. We can give you guidance on what to expect!
5. Get Homeowner's Insurance
This might be included with your mortgage, or you may have to shop around. Again, we can help with some recommendations!
6. Do a Final Walk-Through
You can do this 48 hours before closing, just to make sure you are happy with any work that has been done. If anything doesn't meet your expectations, this is the time to speak up!
7. Close the Deal
The big day! We'll be there to assist as you sign all of the official documents for your mortgage and for the home. Bring photo ID and any financial documents you have been told you will need.
If you are buying the house with your spouse or partner, they will need to be there with photo ID as well. Pay the money, and get the keys to your new home.
We love helping our customers find the perfect home! As the best real estate agents in Ponte Vedra Beach and Nocatee, we would love to help you too! If you're considering buying a home, reach out to us here!
(Photos courtesy of the Young Fouraker Day listing at 617 Alhambra Ct. in TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl)