Purchasing a Home – The 3 Stages After the Offer Is Signed
Purchasing a home can be a complex process, especially if you are not prepared for what’s coming. The most important step is when you sign the purchase offer after viewing the listing and discussing it with your real estate agent. You can never be certain of how the seller will react unless you make an offer that is beyond their wildest expectations. Since that is unlikely to happen, let’s look at the other possible scenarios.
The Seller’s Response
The first thing you need to consider is the seller’s response once you sign the purchase offer. He/she can do one of three things. First is to simply reject the offer, in which case there is nothing left for you to do. Secondly, he/she can make a counter-offer, which is usually with a higher price tag attached to the home. You can decide whether or not you want to pay the increased price. Lastly, your offer may be accepted there and then.
This does make things simple as you know the deal is going through. At this point, the escrow kicks in to ensure you stay true to your word. There are 3 stages to follow till you get complete ownership and possession of the house.
Getting the Contingencies Out of the Way
Contingencies are factors that may influence your decision to purchase the home. They may include financing, home inspection, hygiene tests, etc. You have to specify a date at which you will complete the activity that gives you a formal answer as to whether the contingency has been dealt with or not. Unless the contingencies don’t meet your expectations, there is no way the deal will fall through. In case one of the contingencies requires more time to complete, you can ask for an extension.
The Home Appraisal
The home appraisal can prove to be the make-or-break stage of the process. In case both agents (yours and the seller’s) agree on the value of the home, there is no reason why the appraiser will think differently. However, it is also possible he/she puts a value on the home that is lower or higher than the listed price at which you agreed to buy it. Though the higher value goes in your favor, a lower appraisal will make it difficult for you to borrow money. After all, you are paying more than the house is worth. In this case, you can either arrange the cash or ask the seller to lower the price. Or else, just walk away.
Sealing the Deal
The final stage is when the sale is being closed. You have little to do at this stage. You will only need to sign some papers and purchase homeowners’ insurance. Your agent will take care of the rest. Also, you will be required to participate in a walkthrough of the home to assure you that the home is in the same condition as when you selected it for purchase.
It is only after these 3 stages are complete that you will become the rightful owner of the home!