What to Expect
Having your offer accepted is exciting—but for most home buyers, it’s just the beginning. There is still a lot more to be done before you begin to pack. Here’s a short list of what comes next.
1. Apply for a mortgage
Unless you’re paying in cash, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage (if you’re already pre-approved, good for you). If you have not been pre-approved, contact at least two or three lenders and compare their loan options. Be prepared to ask questions, and be completely open about your finances.
2. Home appraisal and inspection
The next step is getting your home appraised and inspected.
Your lender will order an appraisal for you. The appraisal gives you a detailed report on the market value of the home. If the home’s appraised value comes in less than the purchase price, you will need to either make a greater down payment or negotiate with the seller to lower the price. A lender won’t give you a loan for more than the appraised value.
The home inspection tells you if the home has any issues. Inspections aren’t always required, but you should absolutely get one. Go over the inspection report in detail with the inspector to make sure you’re aware of any problems, their severity, and the estimated cost to fix them. Additionally, you should also get your home checked for radon and pests, which are additional costs. If the inspector finds problems, you may be able to get the seller to pay for necessary repairs or renegotiate the price to adjust for the cost.
3. Get your funds ready
Make sure the funds you need for closing and in reserves are both accessible. If you need to pull money from an investment account, do it right away. Keep the paperwork for the transaction to show your lender the paper trail for the liquidated funds.
4. Find homeowners insurance
In most cases, buyers are expected to pay for homeowners insurance before or at the closing. Depending on where you live, you might need extra insurance, such as flood coverage. Shop around for the best rate. Your lender will need proof of insurance before approving your mortgage.
5. Final walk-through
You will be allowed to do a final walk-through of your new home usually 48 hours before closing.
This allows you one last look to make sure any items that should be there, as per your contract, remain. It also lets you check the condition of the home to make sure no damages have occurred. If you find anything different from what you agreed upon, you may postpone the closing to give the seller time to address the problem. It’s important that you catch every issue during the final walk- through. If you spot a problem after closing, it’s going to be your problem.
This is the day when you sign the mortgage documents and officially take ownership of the property. Most likely your Realtor will be there, as well as the seller, the seller’s Realtor, the closing officer, and perhaps the mortgage banker. You will need to bring ID and a cashier’s check to pay the down payment and closing costs, which you will know in advance (and if they look different, don’t be afraid to ask why). Your spouse will also need a photo ID. (In some states, spouses are required to attend and sign papers even if they aren’t on the mortgage.) Check with your Realtor about the details of date and time of your closing.
If you are in the market for a new house and would like information on homes for sale, or are first time home buyer not working with a Realtor and would like to schedule a consultation with a qualified Oakland County and Macomb County Realtor, please complete the Lang Premier Properties contact form to have a real estate agent contact you.
Lang Premier Properties are Birmingham Realtors specializing in Oakland County Real Estate. Stephanie is an agent with Lang Premier Properties. See what past clients have to say about Stephanie Lang. Lang Premier Properties looks out for your best interests when you purchase a new custom luxury home. We always recommend working with an experienced luxury real estate agent when buying a new luxury estate.