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You’ve put in an offer on a home, and the seller accepted. Congratulations! You’re about to become a home owner, which is an amazing feeling whether it’s your first home or your fifth. Once a seller accepts your offer, what are your next moves? While you’ve certainly cleared a big hurdle, there’s still a lot to be done, and it’s best you don’t lose your momentum. After all, you’ve already made this much progress, so don’t slow down now! While there’s lots of information and advice out there on how to get your offer accepted, it’s time to focus on what to do after. Let’s review!
Pay your deposit
One of the first things you must do once a seller accepts your offer is make a deposit. Your deposit is a portion of your down payment, which you typically need to provide within one day of having your offer accepted. The deposit is usually a check or wire transfer that is a “good faith gesture” on your part to show the seller you really want to buy the home. It’s usually five per cent of your offer, unless your realtor recommends otherwise. Once you provide the deposit, your offer becomes binding, and you’re committed to buying the home. The deposit shows the seller that you are financially stable, and it provides more assurance for them.
Inform your lawyer
First, be sure you have a lawyer when a seller accepts your offer! Lawyers assist with all kinds of aspects of buying a home. They help you with land transfer tax, title insurance, preparing the title deed, and taking care of fund transfers. It’s essential to have a lawyer lined up when you buy a home, so they can help transfer the property to your name. Lawyers are such a crucial part of this process, so you need to keep them in the loop. Once your offer is accepted, be sure to tell your lawyer immediately. They can then start working on getting everything in order so you can take possession of your new home.
Take care of conditions
Your offer may have included conditions, such as a home inspection or the need to sell your current property first. Other common conditions can include securing financing and purchasing property insurance. Now that your offer has been accepted, it’s time to get to work fulfilling those conditions. Contact an inspector to walk through the home and point out any potential issues that could affect the sale. For example, if there are problems with the foundation, plumbing, or roofing, you should know sooner rather than later. Meet with your broker or lender to start working out your financing. Speak with your realtor to ensure you can sell your current home in a timely manner. There’s usually a time period when you must complete these items before you take possession of the home, so it’s never a bad idea to get a head start!
Do a final walk through
You saw the home when you toured it for the first time, but you shouldn’t just see the property once before taking possession of it. Usually, you can negotiate how many times you can walk through the home before the closing date, so you should start planning those visits. You may want to visit to plan how you will arrange certain rooms, and decide whether you need to buy anything for them. You should also make sure the house looks the same as when you put in your offer. Plus, if the home inspection turned up any issues, you should make sure they were fixed by the seller. Your last walk through should be near the closing date if possible, so there won’t be any surprises when you move in.
Complete an appraisal
In many cases, a lender will need an appraisal before they finance your mortgage, even after a seller accepts your offer. An appraisal is when a professional unrelated to the purchase walks through the home and gives an estimate of its value, and tells the lender what it’s worth. The lender will want to know if the true value of the home matches your offer. This is so if you default on your mortgage, the lender won’t end up with a home that is worth less than the amount they financed. If it turns out the market value is lower than your offer, you will likely have to find a way to cover the remaining cost of the home.
Take a moment to celebrate!
Of course, you can take a breath and celebrate, because you’re well on your way to owning a new home! This is an exciting experience, and one you should definitely look back on with pride and happiness. Even though there’s still lots of work to do, it’s an accomplishment you should commemorate. As much work as it is to buy a home, remember to enjoy moments like these!
If you have any questions about buying a home, give us a call at Centum Home Lenders! You can reach us at 506-854-6847, or get in touch with us here.