If you’re in the process of buying a home, you might feel like there’s a lot to keep track of. But with a dependable realtor and this guide, you’ll be prepped and ready for each step of the closing process. For your reference, use this general closing timeline to know what to expect in the four to six weeks leading up to your closing date.
Find a Trustworthy Realtor
First, an experienced realtor will guide you through your home search in today’s competitive market. They’ll help you meet your buying objectives while staying within your budget. A great realtor can also:
- answer any questions you have about the buying process,
- connect you with the best contractors, inspectors, and title companies,
- help you negotiate for better deals,
- and expand your house search to properties listed by other agents.
Then, as soon as you’re serious about buying a new home, it’s time to get pre-approved for your home loan. A pre-approval letter early in the game will:
- speed up your closing timeline,
- allow you to know what you can afford and stay within budget,
- prove your creditworthiness to the sellers,
- and give you solid assurance that you’ll be able to obtain a loan.
Negotiate the Offer
After you’ve found a home you’re interested in, work with your agent or realtor to decide how much to offer. Include your proof of funding when possible to prove your creditworthiness to the sellers. You may want to include an inspection contingency in your offer which allows you to cancel the sale if the inspection reveals any major issues.
Schedule a Home Inspection
Next, a standard home inspection will provide a detailed report on the home you’re interested in buying. While thorough, standard inspections typically won’t investigate:
- pest control,
- swimming pools,
- randon gas,
- venting equipment,
- indoor air quality,
- lead paint,
- or toxic mold.
Depending on what your inspector finds and the age and location of your home, they may suggest additional inspections, like a:
- radon testing,
- a WDO (wood-destroying organism) inspection,
- a mold inspection,
- or a fireplace inspection.
Finalize your Purchase Agreement
Inspection results can make you change your mind about your offer. At this stage, you can ask the seller for concessions if the home inspection reveals any serious problems. You can either ask the seller to fix the problem before closing, give you credit for closing costs, or lower the price of the home.
Order the Appraisal
After home inspections, a qualified appraiser will create a report based on an in-person inspection, aspects of the home, recent sales of similar properties, and current market trends.
Waiting on your appraisal report can be a nail-biting experience, since your lender will use this appraisal value to determine how much money they can offer the borrower. But don’t worry—if the appraisal value is lower than what you agreed to pay the seller, you’ll have the option to renegoatate, delay, or cancel the closing.
Secure Final Loan Approval
A good loan officer will guide you through the final loan approval process. They’ll request certain documents, like your loan application, documented income, bank statements, assets, credit, and other documents requested by the underwriter.
Sign your Purchase Agreement
A final purchase agreement will determine the final sale price for the house and the terms of purchase. This legally binding document will give you and the seller assurance that the sale will move forward.
Attend your Closing
Finally, your closing date will be set by the title company handling the transaction. For more information n the process that a title company goes through to ensure a safe sale, check out this page from Premier Settlements. On that date, the ownership of the property will be officially transferred to you, the buyer. You will transfer funds from escrow, provide any mortgage and title fees, and update the deed of the house to your name. Then, they’ll hand over the keys!
Too Much to Manage On Your Own?
A trustworthy and experienced realtor can act as your guide and advocate throughout the entire closing process. If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Lancaster County, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at the Niv Lemoine Real Estate Group. We’ll manage all the house hunting and closing details so that you don’t have to.