Congrats! Your offer has been accepted or maybe you’re just curious on what you should do once you’re under contract on a home. Either way, we've put together some things to know and steps to follow to get you through closing smoothly!
1. Complete your mortgage application and send the sales contract to your lender.
If you're financing your home and haven't already completed the mortgage application, then this should be one of your first steps. Many contracts provide a specified amount of time to complete your application (Ex: 5 days after the contract is effective), so keep this in mind. Plus, you'll want to get this started as the mortgage process can take weeks to complete.
2. Coordinate and schedule your home inspection.
Talk with your agent to schedule with a home inspector. If you don’t know a licensed home inspector, your agent can often recommend one. You’ll want to make this a top priority, as you only have a limited amount of time for your inspection period, as specified in your contract.
3. Request a homeowner's insurance quote.
It is recommended to do this within one week of your contract date. If you do not have a current insurance agent, you can ask your agent for their referrals. Once you review the quote and accept, you’ll want to forward this information over to your lender. You will typically pay a full year’s premium at closing (and often the lender will require a few months worth of premiums be added to your escrow account). Check out our partner Lemonade Insurance and save!
4. Sign your loan documents.
Your mortgage lender will typically send you pre-closing documents to look over and sign. You will sign the final copies at closing, so it’s important to make any notes and changes beforehand.
5. Your lender will order the appraisal.
Once your inspection is complete, your lender will order a home appraisal. This appraisal will determine the amount approved for your mortgage loan. Appraisals take about 1-2 weeks to get back while VA Appraisals often take longer. Appraisals are paid for up front and the fee is non-refundable. Your lender should send you a copy of the appraisal once it is received.
- What if my appraisal comes in too low? This varies upon every situation. Speak with your Real Estate Agent regarding this matter. In most cases, they will contact the seller’s agent on your behalf to renegotiate the contract terms as best as possible.
- What if repairs are required from the appraiser? Your Real Estate Agent may contact the Seller’s Agent and try to renegotiate the contract terms. If repairs are needed, you may be subject to an additional charge for the final inspection.
6. Perform a final walkthrough of the home.
This is your chance to make sure any requested repairs were made and all of the personal belongings of the previous owner were removed from the property. The main purpose of your final walkthrough is to make sure the home is in the condition in which you agreed to buy it.
7. Prepare for all documents and funds for closing.
You will need to gather the appropriate documents to bring to closing and get together the funds needed. Your closing agent should tell you what documents to bring and how much money you will need to wire your closing attorney. The required amount will be included in the Final Closing Disclosure. It is recommended that all funds be wired 24-48 hours prior to your scheduled closing time to ensure things go smoothly. Be aware that wire fraud is on the rise. It’s best to confirm wire instructions by phone and be wary of last minute changes to the instructions or anything that seems suspicious.
8. Closing Day!
On closing day, you will sign your closing documents. This can take about an hour and usually takes place at the closing attorney's office. If you work with a SimpleShowing Agent, you will also receive your refund check at the closing table for up to $15,000. Once all documents are signed, you will receive the keys to your new home!!