The home buying process starts pretty quick- you see your dream home, you put an offer down, and it gets accepted, then the house should be yours, right? Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works. There are a number of steps that need take place between the time your offer is accepted and when you walk away with the keys to your new home.
The timeline for closing is often determined by your lender. If you are paying cash for your home, you could close on your home in as little as a week. In a cash transaction, the only wait is getting the closing scheduled with the title company and for them to complete the title work. Most conventional loans take 30 days whereas those involving down payment assistance or that have additional requirements can take up to 45 days.
The first step after having your offer accepted is having an inspection. It is not required that a buyer inspect a property, but we strongly suggest that our clients consider it. Typically the inspection period is 7-10 days after the final acceptance of your purchase agreement. During that time you have the inspection and negotiate with the seller on any repair items that the inspector may have found.
Once you’re past the inspection period, your lender will order the appraisal. They will hire an independent appraiser to go to the property and based on its condition and comparable home sales in the area will decide what they think the home is worth. Sometimes a renegotiation is necessary if the appraiser decides the home is worth less than the sales price because lenders won’t loan more money than the appraiser says it is worth.
It usually takes about a week for the lender to put the order in, for the appraisal to happen, and to hear back from the lender on the appraiser’s report.
While the inspection and appraisal are taking place, the title company is scheduling your closing and completing the title work. They ensure that the title is owned by the person who is selling the house and that they don’t have any liens on the property. The title company also makes sure that the right documents are filed if a home is sold as an estate or if someone is signing as a Power of Attorney.
As you get closer to closing it is important to continue being careful with your money. The lender will continue to check your credit and employment right up until closing day. Your closing could be delayed for any number of reasons relating to your home loan.
With a good agent and loan officer, hopefully you can sail through these steps easily. If you ever have any questions about this process, we are always happy to help!