First Time Home Buyer's Guide: My Offer was Accepted, Now What?
Congratulations, you made it through the tumultuous roller coaster of putting in offers and the agonizing wait for a response from the seller, you are in contract! After possible multiple offers put in and hopes that have risen and fallen many a time in this challenging market, your first step is to CELEBRATE!
So, you did the hard part, now what? Below is a week-by-week insight into a typical 45-day escrow period in Hawaii. Each transaction varies and this by no means is the only way your transaction may look, however, it will provide a guideline into what to expect.
WEEK 1: The first step in your transaction will be to deliver the initial earnest money deposit. Depending on the contract, you will either deliver a check directly to escrow or wire the funds. Wire instructions will only come from escrow. Wiring money can take around 2 days, so plan accordingly so as not to miss your deadline.
In addition to wire instructions escrow will also send you an opening packet. This packet introduces the escrow company as well as asks for your information and how you would like to hold title.
Usually, within a week, you will receive the title report from escrow. Go over the report with your realtor and if you have any questions, you may want to contact your attorney.
WEEK 2: Depending on your contract, usually the first 10-14 days of the contract is your inspection period. During this time, you will hire an inspector and do your due diligence to learn any potential issues with the property. See my previous blog here for a more detailed explanation on inspection reports.
Likewise, during these first two weeks, you will also receive the Seller’s Real Property Disclosure. This is a several-page document the seller must answer truthfully which covers any potential known issue with the home. This can range from faulty appliances to environmental noise to potential mold issues. Read through this carefully and ask your Realtor if you need any clarification.
WEEK 3: Around three weeks in you will either get the property staked or surveyed to see the boundary lines. This is typically paid for by the Seller. Not only will this distinguish property lines, but clarify if there are any encroachments on the property.
At this point, your lender should have ordered the appraisal. The appraiser will determine the market value of the home which is based on recently sold comparable properties. The appraisal needs to be valued at the loan amount for the loan to be issued. If it is not, you may have to bring in additional funds or negotiate with the Seller.
WEEK 4: A termite report should have been generated within the fourth week of escrow. This report and inspection are typically paid for by the Seller and will give you insight into if there is termite damage or evidence of termites.
A conditional loan letter from your lender should be completed by this point as well. This letter states that you qualify for the loan once certain conditions are met.
WEEK 5: Final loan approval! This is the exciting moment you receive the big “yes” from your lender that you will be able to get the loan. From here it is typically smooth sailing.
This is a good time to confirm with the utilities that you will be establishing a new service and schedule an appointment to meet with escrow to sign the final docs.
WEEK 6: The last week is when you will do your final walkthrough to make sure the house is in the same condition as it was previously as well as any repairs that were requested have been finalized.
You will wire any additional funds at least 2 business days before closing.
Last but definitely not least, upon recordation, the home is officially yours! Meet your realtor to get your keys and CELEBRATE!
*DISCLAIMER: Each contract is unique and will vary depending on the market and individual properties. This is to be used only as a rough guide. Always consult your realtor with any questions you may have.
Have questions or interested in purchasing your own home?