First off, congratulations! You’ve just taken the first step to the next chapter of your life.
Now you need to consider what that step means. The conversations, considerations, open houses, and bidding, were just the beginning. But don’t panic. There’s still a lot to do, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you know what you’re in for, going from contract to moving day is just part of the journey.
Before you get too far, be sure to refer to the checklist that I’ve provided on my website that walks through everything step-by-step. This article will be covering a few large items that you should consider, but the checklist will ensure that you don’t miss anything, so you can feel confident walking through the front doors for the first time.
If you’ve just signed your contract, there are a few immediate things that need to happen, and a few that will take some time. First, your deposit will be cashed to show the owner that you are invested. This is usually a small sum, but something that you will need to be aware of. It usually sits with a third-party in escrow while everything is verified.
It’s at this point that things start to become real. You’ll need to schedule a property inspection, and a document review. These are all to your benefit, so it’s on you as the buyer to take the initiative. Your escrow check is non-refundable, but the contract you’ve just signed outlines conditional terms that can potentially reverse that if they aren’t met. Those terms usually relate to the condition, safety, and verifiability of the statements made about the home.
When having the property inspection done, it’s my recommendation that you don’t actively participate in the inspection process, but rather remain in close proximity to the property so that you can be around when the inspector is finished. There are some that believe you should be there for the entire process, however, in my experience, these inspections can take anywhere from three to five hours for a standard-sized property, and this can be further slowed down by asking questions. It’s best to allow the inspector to do their job, and to set aside a full 30-45 minutes to ask questions when their inspection is complete. It’s better to be mentally alert when receiving their report than to try and comprehend their findings as they work. Ask plenty of questions, and follow their recommendations. Inspectors know their stuff! Always have your realtor along to assist in ascertaining information that you may miss.
During the escrow period, the same time when you’re setting up your appointments, you’ll also be meeting with a broker or bank to set up your mortgage. I won’t get into that here, as you’ve probably been pre-approved for a loan at this point, but to best prepare for these meetings, it’s wise to educate yourself on your property. Your realtor can assist you with finding information regarding the history of the home, previous owners, and the value of the property that the house sits on. The bank will be scheduling a property assessment to determine its value, and you’ll be nearing the end of the process. It can be stressful, but remember to breathe.
That’s key. Managing the stress. The escrow period generally lasts between 30-90 days, which is a very short period of time to finalize everything. In that time, you’ll also need to be scheduling termite inspections, acquire homeowner’s insurance, and even do simple tasks such as transferring utilities from the current homeowners to yourself. It doesn’t have to be a difficult process, but it can be stressful for many people.
Having an experienced realtor along with you to assist in the process can make a world of difference. Choose a realtor that you trust will be available to answer any questions you have, and that will put in the time to help you no matter the task along the road to moving into your new home.
Thinking about starting the search, or already well on your way? Let’s chat! Reach out at email@example.com to begin your journey!