Once you have made your offer and the offer is accepted by the seller, the following questions may arise.
What does “under contract” mean?
Under contract means that all parties have agreed on terms, have signed the contract, and the signed contract has been delivered to both buyer and seller. Payment of the escrow deposit is expected but is not a requirement to make a binding contract.
What is escrow?
The escrow money, escrow deposit, or good faith deposit is money that is included with an offer, or as soon as an offer is accepted, to show the seller that you are serious about moving forward with the purchase of the home.
Because you forfeit this deposit if you back out of the purchase for any reason not allowed for in the contract, the larger the escrow deposit, the more seriously your offer is taken.
This is not the same as the down payment.
Do I need an inspection?
We always recommend that you have a home inspection done. In the grand scheme of things, paying a few hundred dollars to have peace of mind that there are no hidden dangers or problems is well worth the money.
The inspections you may need or want will vary depending on the home you are buying and the contract terms. Your agent will thoroughly discuss the inspections with you once your offer is accepted.
How much are inspections?
The cost of the home inspection depends on the size of the house and additional inspections requested, such as swimming pool, septic tank, termite/pets report, insurance, four-point (HVAC, plumbing, roof, and electrical,) wind mitigation, and radon. An average home inspection, without additional inspections, is about $300.
I will give you my recommendations for inspectors, but you can choose your own if you wish.
What if my loan doesn’t get approved?
If you have gone through the pre-approval process and have been forthcoming with all the information requested by your lender, it’s unlikely you will be turned down, but it does happen.
Make sure you do not change jobs, purchase big-ticket items on credit, take out a car or boat loan, or open any other new credit accounts while your mortgage is being processed.
If your loan does fall through, talk with your lender about changing to a different loan type.
When can I start moving?
When you have the keys! When you are financing your purchase, it takes four to six weeks for your loan to be processed. Once the lender gives the all-clear, closing is scheduled. You will sign your loan documents and both parties will sign documents transferring ownership to you.
Unless other arrangements have been agreed upon by both parties, the sellers should have completely vacated the home when they sign the closing papers. You can have your belongings ready to move, and a moving company scheduled before you go to closing.
At closing, you will receive the documentation you need to provide utility companies with proof of your new residence.
But seriously, everything is tentative until you have the keys! Even if the home is vacant, don’t even think of starting to move until escrow has closed and you have the thumbs up from your agent.