Offer Acceptance to Closing: A Buyers Guide

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The key to navigating the period after an offer is accepted is clear communication. By understanding contingencies, adhering to deadlines, and covering costs as required, we can proceed smoothly through the closing process. During this period, it is imperative that you avoid any major purchases that might affect your credit or cash on hand and do not make any late payments. You shouldn’t buy any furniture on credit or take large sums of money out of any bank accounts.

Inspections:

The purpose of the inspection is to identify any issues with the property's condition. We encourage you to attend the inspection if possible so you can ask the inspector questions and gain a better understanding of the property's condition firsthand. No property is perfect, and it's normal for inspections to uncover some issues. Know the difference between cosmetic issues and significant structural or mechanical problems. Focus on requesting repairs for issues that affect the property's safety, habitability, or value, such as roof leaks, electrical problems, plumbing issues, or structural damage. Sellers are more likely to accommodate reasonable repair requests that address legitimate concerns about the property's condition. We will help you to understand which repair requests are reasonable given the age and condition of the property.

Contingencies:

Contingencies are conditions outlined in the purchase agreement that must be met for the sale to proceed. Common contingencies include financing, appraisal, home inspection, and title review. You have a specified timeframe, as outlined in the purchase agreement, to remove each contingency. This timeframe varies depending on the terms negotiated in the contract. We will keep track of these deadlines and ensure you take necessary actions within the specified timeframes. For example, the inspection contingency might be removed after we conduct a home inspection and are satisfied with the results. The financing contingency might be removed once you secure a mortgage commitment from your lender.

Final Walkthrough:

Before closing, the buyer typically conducts a final walkthrough of the property to ensure it's in the same condition as when they made the offer and to verify that any agreed-upon repairs have been completed.

Signing Documents:

You can sign documents early or at the closing table. Both the buyer and seller sign a plethora of documents, including the settlement statement, mortgage documents (if applicable), and the deed. The buyer also pays any remaining closing costs and the down payment.

Title Transfer:

The title company or attorney ensures that the title to the property is clear and free of any liens or encumbrances. They facilitate the transfer of the title from the seller to the buyer, often with the assistance of a title insurance policy to protect against any unforeseen issues.

Funding:

Once all the documents are signed and the funds are in place, the lender disburses the mortgage funds to the seller, and the buyer officially becomes the new owner of the property.

Recording:

After closing, the deed and other relevant documents are recorded with the appropriate government office, usually the county clerk's office. This officially documents the transfer of ownership and ensures that the buyer's ownership rights are protected.

Possession:

Depending on the terms of the purchase agreement, the buyer may receive possession of the property immediately after closing or at a later agreed-upon date.

 

Costs Associated with Purchasing a Home:

  • Earnest Money (Escrow) Deposit: This is a good faith deposit made by the buyer to demonstrate their serious intent to purchase the property. It's usually paid when the offer is submitted or shortly after the offer is accepted. Average Escrow Deposit: 1% of the purchase price (Optional).

  • Home Inspection Fee: The buyer typically pays for a professional home inspection to assess the condition of the property. This fee varies depending on the size and complexity of the home and inspections. Average price: $600

  • Appraisal Fee: If the buyer is obtaining financing, the lender will require an appraisal to determine the fair market value of the property. The buyer usually pays for the appraisal before closing. Average price: $600

  • Closing Costs: These are all the fees associated with the transfer of ownership and the closing of the transaction. Closing costs may include lender fees, title insurance, attorney fees, recording fees, and other miscellaneous expenses. While some closing costs are negotiable between the buyer and seller, the buyer often bears the majority of these costs. Average price: 2% to 5% of the purchase price of the property.

  • Lender Fees: Buyers may incur various costs associated with obtaining a mortgage, including loan origination fees, credit report fees, and other lender charges. Average price: 1% of the loan at the time of closing.

  • Title Insurance: In Florida, it's customary for the buyer to purchase title insurance to protect against any issues with the property's title. Average price: 1% of the purchase price paid at closing.

Understanding these aspects of the home buying process can help you navigate the journey smoothly and confidently. From inspections to contingencies to costs, being informed every step of the way will empower you to make the best decisions for your future home.

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