After searching for weeks or even months on end, you’ve found a home perfect for you that meets all of your requirements and have made an offer on it. While you might you may have to go back and forth with the seller a few times in order to compromise on the price, closing costs, closing dates, and other contingencies, you are on your way to becoming the owner of your very first home! That’s reason enough to celebrate a little.
But, you’re not quite in the clear yet. Before go about packing up your moving van and buying items in preparation for moving to your new home, there’s a lot that needs to be done before you sign the final real estate closing documents and actually are the owner of the house. If this is your first time going through the real estate closing process, we’ll help you understand everything to expect to go through in between the time of your initial offer and the final closing day on your new home.
Talking about everything involved in real estate closing can certainly be a bore. So we’ve made it more interesting by using this sandwich as an example of how it works. Who doesn’t like sandwiches?
A sandwich is made up of many ingredients that make it so delicious. Take any of them out and it becomes less tasty. Just like this sandwich, when closing on a home, every component is important, and without any of them, you might not be able to buy the home!
What To Expect After The Offer But Before The Real Estate Closing
Apply For A Loan
At this point, it’s likely that you have already been pre-approved from a mortgage or lending company. If not, this is an essential step in escalating your real estate closing process as it shows the seller and their agent that you are capable of finding a loan and have a way to finance the purchase of the home for the price that you offered. This is generally included with a home buyer’s initial offering. But, once you have been approved and your offer on the property is accepted by the seller, you will need to then apply for a loan which makes the most sense for you. This might take some further research and shopping around to find the best local lender or perhaps hiring a mortgage broker.
Getting A Property Appraisal
When you find a lender to work with, they are going to want to give the property you are interested in purchasing an appraisal in order to determine it is truly worth the price that you have offered up to the seller. This is because they want to ensure that the home will not be worth less down the road if you decide to sell it, making it more difficult for you to pay back your loaned amount. This is in you and the lender’s best interest.
Therefore, the lender will have an appraiser visit the property in order to determine its worth as well as compare it to similar homes in the area that have been sold recently to ensure that the price offered is ideal. Based on these investigations, if it is determined that the home appraises for less than the price you have agreed to buy it for, there could be some complications. The bank will, in turn, offer to loan you money for the amount the home appraises for, meaning that if you want to purchase the home despite the appraisal, you will need to dish out more funds into your down payment or attempt to reach an agreement for a reduced purchase price.
While you are in the limbo time between your accepted offer and the real estate closing, you will want to hire a home inspector to go through the property more in-depth than the appraiser, checking appliances, mechanics, and the structure of the home to determine that everything is up to par and won’t require a significant amount of maintenance and repairs upon moving in. This is normally a step required by your lender, but even if it is not, it’s an important item to have completed regardless. Not only will hiring a home inspector help give you an idea of what you’ll need to have repaired or replaced prior to move in by the seller, but it will also help you learn how to use systems and appliances in the home by having the inspector educate you.
Title Search and Title Insurance
The title company that you use plays a big role in your real estate closing process. You will use them to perform an initial title search to ensure there are no outstanding liens on the home, other owners, or any other potential complications with the real estate’s title. You will be provided with the title company’s report, and if there is nothing encroaching upon the property’s title, you are clear to move forward. You can also purchase title insurance through your title company which can be paid for either by you, the lender, or the seller depending upon the agreement that arises between all of the parties involved. If you have a specific title company in mind that you want to use for going about your title insurance and real estate closing, you as the buyer have the right to choose and inform your seller and lender.
If you want to work with a national title company that makes the real estate closing process as seamless and stress-free as possible for you, reach out to Close Happy® — a digital, eclosing platform backed by the national title company, Elevated Title™.
Outside of your title insurance, you will also want to purchase home insurance for your new home. Not only is it required like car insurance, but you will want to protect your home from the variety of potential factors that can hurt your hefty investment. Your home insurance is normally factored into your mortgage payment as a part of your taxes and fees. It is taken out each month and placed into an escrow account, in which the taxes and fees are paid annually.
Final Walk Through
Within 48 hours of your real estate closing, you will (or should) perform one final walk-through of your new home. You’ll have the opportunity to inspect any of the repairs that the seller had completed after your initial home inspection report and ensure that everything is ready for you to take the keys and get started packing up the moving fan — finally, right? If you come across anything that makes you feel uneasy about the home, be sure to speak now or forever hold your peace!
The Real Estate Closing
It’s finally the big day! This is where everything is made official, all paperwork is signed at the title company office, or, if you opt for an e-closing, is done from the comfort of your home! You will want to be fully prepared for this day as there will be a lot of items to sign and it’s important to know what all you are agreeing upon! Check out our other blog post on tips for preparing for your real estate closing day to get a better idea of what to do prior. After you’ve signed things like your loan amortization schedule, sales contract, and other loan details, you’ll get to take the keys to your new home and officially become a homeowner!
We hope the insights from our national title company along with our sandwich depiction of the real estate closing process have helped you to get a better grasp on what all to expect and prepare for when it comes to the time frame between making an offer on your first home to officially becoming a homeowner. If you want to make your real estate closing experience as simple as it can be, you’ll need a national title company on your side like Close Happy®. With streamlined digital solutions for successful e-closings, we take the complications out of the lending and closing process with simple, straightforward title services.