Buying a house in Alexandria – Step Eight

They accepted your offer, now What?

From Buying a house in Alexandria – Overview

There is a feeling both of joy and anxiety when you hear your offer has been accepted.  When both parties accept all terms of the offer you have what we call a Ratified Contract. This is no longer just an offer because an accepted offer is now a Contract between two parties and all terms shall be fulfilled or otherwise the non-performing party will be in default. Make sure you follow your agents’ instructions as it relates to time frames to perform the requirements established in the Ratified Contract.

Next steps basically occur as follows

    • Start working with your lender to fulfill their lending paperwork requirements IMMEDIATELY. Your agent will forward the ratified contract to your lender along with any other pertinent information (required or convenient) in order to complete the paperwork.
    • Apply for homeowners insurance within 7 days of ratification. You do not need to pay anything, just apply for homeowners insurance, and give your lender the insurance agent or companies contact information and policy number.
    • Your Realtor will also forward the ratified contract to the Title company who will order a survey and title search. In Virginia, it is your right to choose a title company, do your research and consult with your Realtor, who will likely have recommendations as well.
    • Your Realtor will help schedule the home inspections or any other inspections that are called for in the  contract. You should be present for those inspections as you might have questions for the inspecting professionals as well.
    • Your Realtor will be in contact with ALL parties involved throughout the entire process and will contact you in case there is an issue that needs your input or decision.
  • Your lender will schedule an appraisal, which needs to be done within the contingency period allocated.
  • Once all contingencies are removed you are ALMOST to the finish line.
  • Continue to stay in contact with your lender and make sure you have everything they have asked for. You need to cooperate with them promptly (also part of the contract).  Make sure you stay on top of everything, because in the end it becomes YOUR PROBLEM and not the lender’s if they do not get you approved within the time frame shown on the contract under financing contingency because you didn’t submit papers promptly
  • Final Walkthrough: You will be going back to the house a day prior to settlement with your agent to make sure all discrepancies noted in your home inspection have been corrected.
  • You are now ready to go to closing. What should you bring?
      • Your picture ID
      • A Power Of Attorney if you are signing for someone else (this POA has to be drafted by the title company and notarized)
      • A certified check with funds for the downpayment and closing costs. These items will be itemized on your settlement sheet which you will be able to review 3 days prior to closing.

There’s a lot of behind the scenes issues that go on. Your Realtor will keep you abreast of everything.

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