Has your REALTOR® just called to congratulate you because your offer (or counter offer) was just accepted, and you have a deal? Are you feeling a little nervous about what your next steps are? Or maybe you are uber organized and you want to know what happens after the offer is accepted well in advance, so that you are prepared when it happens. Either way, read on, we have the answers for you!
Welcome to the 10th blog in our Buyer blog (and video) series. If you have been following along, we love having you and hope you are enjoying them, for those of you who are joining us for the first time, we are thrilled you are here and hope that you will stick around.
Today’s topic is: What happens after you have an accepted offer?
Regardless of where you are in the home buying process right now, once you have an accepted offer, know that it is time to get cracking, to hunker down, and monitor your deadlines carefully. This is precisely why you need a REALTOR® that you can trust squarely in your court, making sure that you are accomplishing all the necessary milestones and NEVER missing a deadline. Here is what you can expect to take place and how your REALTOR® will help you to get through it.
- Engage a Title/Escrow Company (or Attorney) – In most cases your title and escrow company are the same company which eliminates a lot of steps that need to be taken in other States where this is not the case. It is rare in Arizona that an attorney is retained to handle a real estate transaction but it does happen. So, we mention it here in the event that, for some reason, you have those special circumstances that demand the retention of an attorney. Your REALTOR® should take care of communicating with the Title/Escrow company (or attorney), ensuring that they receive all the information and documentation they need to insure the title and prepare for closing.
- Notify Your Lender – It is your job to reach out to your lender to let them know that you have a signed offer and to provide them with all the documentation they need to get the ball rolling on ensuring that your mortgage is properly in place for closing.
- Organize Inspections – In Arizona you have 10 days to conduct all the inspections you need/want to have completed before you are locked-in to buying the house. This allows the buyer to have the home looked at by professionals to determine its condition. There are MANY inspections that you may want to consider and they will be the subject matter of our next video/blog post, here we will focus on the 3 most common ones: 1) The home inspection, which is a general inspection of the entire home, 2) a pest (wood destroying insects/termite) inspection, and 3) a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) inspection. It is critically important that these inspections be done immediately because if they reveal something that requires a specialist or a different type of inspection, you will need time to organize those and have them completed within the 10-day inspection period. With the real estate market being so busy right now, it can be difficult to get an appointment, so there is no goofing around on this, calls to set up appointments with inspectors need to take place literally within the first hour after acceptance of the offer!
- BINSR – Before the end of the inspection period your REALTOR® will work with you to prepare a document called the Buyer’s Inspection Notice and Seller’s Response (BINSR). The purpose of this document is to give the buyer an opportunity to use the information gleaned from the inspections to request repairs to the home. The seller can then agree to do some or all the repairs or to refuse to do any repairs at all. We could spend days talking about this process and we personally think it is the riskiest and most stressful part of the entire buying process, but having said that a good REALTOR® (maybe, like the Wise Move AZ team…) will guide you through it.
- Appraisal – Your lender (if you have one) will require that an appraisal of the home be conducted to ensure the value of their security (your new home) is worth more than the amount of the mortgage. Your lender will take care of getting this done. If you do not plan to take out a mortgage to purchase your new home, an appraisal is not required but you may wish to do one yourself, in which case, your REALTOR® can assist you in making it happen. If you do not have a mortgage, this MUST happen within the 10-day inspection period.
- Homeowners’ Insurance – We recommend that our clients arrange to have homeowners insurance organized about a week before closing. This is one of those things that can be left to the last minute and still be in place on time, but who needs the stress of leaving it too long? Get it done as soon as you can.
- Schedule Utilities/Internet/Cable to be Turned On – Again, we recommend that you do this about a week before closing. Some service providers need a week’s lead time, so do not leave it until the day before closing to call them. We can assure you, you will want the electricity (think air conditioning) on when you are moving in!
- Transfer Cash to Close to the Escrow Company – The cash portion of your purchase price needs to be in the hands of the title/escrow company the day before closing, and it takes about 24 hours to process wire transfers, so you should be arranging your wire transfer at least two to three days before closing.
- Document Signing – Most lenders and title companies and even the County Assessor’s office still require original signatures, so there will come a day when you need to sign documents the old-fashioned way. This should take place about 3 days before closing. If you are unable to make it to their office for signing, just let your REALTOR® know, as they can often schedule a mobile notary to come to YOU!
- Final Walk Through – That third day before closing is a busy one! The final walk-through should take place about there too. This is the part where you check to make sure that the home is in the same condition it was in when you made your offer, that all fixtures are still attached to the house, and that anything the seller agreed to repair in the BINSR process has been fixed.
- Closing Day – Barring any special circumstances, this is the day you take possession of your new home! Woohoo!
Well done and welcome home! Congratulations, you have crossed the finish line, break open the champagne….and get to work unpacking all those boxes!
Do you have a question you would like us to answer? Have something awesome that you’d like to share about Anthem? We want to hear from you; leave us a note in the form below.
Remember, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell their home, please give us a call! It’s always the right time to make a wise move with the Wise Move AZ Team.