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They Have Accepted Your Offer! Now What?

They Have Accepted Your Offer! Now What?


Your offer on your new home has been accepted. These are the things you need to do between now and the closing date.

 Within the First Several Days of Acceptance 

  • Contact your mortgage person to let them know your offer has been accepted. The mortgage person will begin the financial process and order an appraisal for your new home


  • Order your home inspection. As we discussed in the previous episode, This will no doubt be the largest purchase you make. Spending a couple of hundred dollars to have a qualified person thoroughly inspect your future home may prevent thousands of dollars of unexpected repairs later on. Contact a licensed home inspector of your choice (if you are working with a "buyers agent", then he/she may recommended one). The home inspector will set an appointment that is convenient for you. The inspection must take place during your inspection period, usually 10 days from acceptance of your offer


  • Confirm the earnest money deposit. The earnest money deposit on your new home should be deposited within 3 days of final acceptance. With the inspection process it can be 10 days from the date of your offer. This is normally 5% of the purchase price, but could be significantly less depending on your financing and your available funds. This must be made by bank check, certified check or money order. If you need to transfer funds from a retirement or money market account, or borrowing money from a relative, do it as soon as possible to allow time for the check to clear.


  • Have the purchase and sale agreement reviewed by your attorney. Although not required, having an attorney familiar with real estate law will save you peace of mind and possibly money should any legal issues come up. An attorney will help to make sure you are financially protected should anything go wrong during the home buying process.


  • Sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement. The is the contract that contains all the details of the real estate purchase. Occasionally, this may take place beyond the 10 day period if there are any concerns that are being negotiated between the buyer and seller. Get copies!


  • Emotions and Buyer’s Remorse. It’s natural and how you can cope.


  • Inform your landlord you are purchasing a home if you are renting. Most landlords require at least 30 days notice that you are moving or you may forfeit any deposits you have on your apartment. My recommendation is that you do it in writing and you send it certified. Minnesota laws require 30 day notices. Which goes from calendar to calendar.


  • Do not make large purchases or acquire consumer debt. Most people jeopardize their closing because they buy furniture, cars, or appliances prior to close. Many times they do this using credit cards or applying for a loan. This may change your credit rating and debt to income ratio. You don’t want to have to come up with money at closing when you can just wait till after. Hold off on those purchases. Within 3 Weeks of Close Date


  • Contact your insurance person to arrange for coverage for your new home. Most lenders require you to pay one year's insurance premium up front. Your insurance broker can let you know how much this will be, and will provide a binder for you to bring to the closing.


  • Stay in contact with your mortgage person. You must obtain a mortgage commitment letter before your financing period ends (usually about 30 days after your offer is accepted). New software/email systems keep you in the loop. Ask for it.


  • Arrange for a mover. This should be done 21 to 30 days ahead of the closing date. Care should be given not to make firm arrangements until you have a confirmed closing date and you have received your financial commitment letter from your mortgage person.


  • 1 to 2 Weeks Before Closing


  • Arrange to have the utilities for your new home transferred to your name. And don't forget to have your current utility services disconnected. This includes (if applicable) gas, electric, telephone, cable television, and internet service. If your new home has city or town provided water, this will be handled by the seller's agent. If the home you are purchasing is heated by oil, you will have to pay for any oil that is left in the tank at the closing.


  • Make sure you have the funds available for closing. Your mortgage person should have given you a good faith estimate of the amount that you will need. If not, contact him/her as soon as possible.


  • Make final arrangements with your movers.


  • 1 to 2 Days Before Closing


  • Arrange for a final walk through of your new home. Your agent will arrange a final inspection of the home you are about to purchase. Most likely everything will be fine, but check to make sure everything is in the same condition as when you first put your offer in.


  • Verify the time and place of closing. Call the closing attorney for the time and place that the closing will occur. Your agent may do this for you.


  • Get the final amount you need to bring to the closing. Call your mortgage person for the amount of the certified or cashier's check you need to bring to the closing.    Bring the following items to the closing:


  • For the Closing
    • Picture I.D. (drivers license, passport, etc.) The closing attorney will need to make a copy of it for the registry of deeds.
    • Personal checkbook. In case you have to pay for any incidental charges such as heating oil, bottled gas, taxes, etc. that have already been paid by the seller.
    • Certified Check in the amount given to you by your lender.
    • Insurance Policy or binder.
  • Your personal attorney, if any.  Make sure your agent attends as well.