Home Buying Checklist: What Happens After Your Offer is Accepted?

Posted by Andrew Fortune on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 at 7:12am. 224,404 Views

Home Buyer Checklist - 10 Things to Do Once Your Offer is Accepted

Click Here To Pin This List Pinterest

What Happens After The Seller Accepts My Offer?Buying a house takes time, energy, and focus to get through the process without making a mistake or simply losing your mind altogether. Getting your loan pre-approval completed, finding the right house, structuring a competitive offer, and executing a sales contract can be exhausting.

Once you have a signed sales contract in hand, it may feel as though your work is done; unfortunately, this is not the case. An accepted offer is only the beginning of the process; there's a lot more work to do to get your transaction closed. The most common question buyers ask after their offer has been accepted is: “What happens next?”.

This article will help you stay on track and make sure that you are properly prepared to close your transaction without any unnecessary drama. If one of these steps gets overlooked, it can delay your closing; or possibly sabotage your entire home purchase.

A good REALTOR® is your best resource to help avoid issues that might jeopardize your home purchase. They will walk you through each step and make sure that nothing is missed. 

Must do A.S.A.P


Earnest money is your proof as a buyer that you “earnestly” want to purchase their home. This cash deposit involved at the beginning of the transaction protects the seller's interests as they take their house off of the market.

Some REALTORS® will collect earnest money from you before they submit your offer. Others will coordinate the earnest money drop off after an offer is accepted. Whatever your scenario is, make sure that your earnest money is delivered on time and in the proper payment form. This information is typically agreed upon and documented in your sales contract.


Once you have an executed sales contract in hand, the clock starts on your inspection period. Make sure you know how long your inspection period is, and that you complete your inspections in a timely manner. There are multiple types of inspectors that you may need to schedule. A standard home inspector is the most common; but radon, pest, septic, sewer lines, structural, HVAC, meth, and mold inspections may also be relevant to your buying situation. Discuss your options with your REALTOR®. Make sure that you have resolved any inspection issues within the time agreed upon in your sales contract.


As soon as you have an executed sales contract on a home, you or your Realtor will need to communicate with your mortgage lender to make sure that they get a copy of said contract. As soon as they receive it, they will start the mortgage process for your transaction.

To begin this process, your lender will begin asking for a myriad of paperwork.  Be prepared to provide plenty of documentation throughout the transaction. Make sure that you get the requested documentation to them ASAP to limit any problems with their timeline. Gathering and organizing all of these documents can quickly become overwhelming if you are not prepared; not providing them to your lender on time can really slow their process down. 

Some lenders are not as thorough with regards to checking in with you to keep you updated on their progress. If this is the case, make sure that you are checking in with them to verify that they are on track. Your REALTOR® should help you with this as well. If a lender does not complete the loan process in a timely manner, it can cause you to be in breach of your sales contract by not closing on time. A breach of contract will give the seller the opportunity to terminate the transaction, and to keep your earnest money. 

If you stall on any requested lender docs, you can be sure that the finger will be pointed at you if they are not ready in time. Make sure that you are not put in this situation by promptly providing any documentation to your mortgage lender as soon as they request it.

What's Next


This step is handled by the Title Company or law office facilitating the transaction. They will issue a Title Commitment that reviews the title history of the property (chain of title) and discloses any liens against the property that need to be resolved before closing.

Be sure to review your title commitment and ask an attorney for advice if you see anything within it that looks concerning. Most title commitments are straightforward and require no additional work on your part. Just be sure to review it thoroughly before moving on to the next step.


Once you have cleared the Inspection process, let your lender know. They will then order a home appraisal to verify that the value of the home you're purchasing is worth the loan amount that you are asking for. In Colorado, appraisers have 10 business days to complete the appraisal, starting from the day it was ordered. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your lender orders your appraisal as soon as possible. It’s likely that you will be paying for the appraisal, so it’s best to wait until after you and the seller have reached a satisfactory agreement regarding your inspection objections, if any.


Your lender will require you to have a Home Owner’s Insurance Policy on the property that you are purchasing before closing. You should shop around and choose the homeowner's insurance provider and policy that works best for you. Once you have the policy in place, let your lender, REALTOR®, and/or title company know.

Home warranties are also popular within real estate transactions. Some sellers will provide an allowance for you to purchase a home warranty. If you're purchasing a home warranty, you’ll want to shop around and find the home warranty company that best suits your needs. Once you have found the right home warranty provider, be sure that the title company knows who you plan to use as soon as possible.

Final Steps


Now that you're past all of the major steps required to purchase your home, you will want to get your utilities turned on, or transferred into your name. In Colorado, the sellers often provide all of the relevant utility contact info in the Seller’s Disclosure.

In the Summer months when the local real estate market is busy, you may want to do this at least a week before closing to make sure that they can process your request before closing. 


Your sales contract will have an agreed upon closing date. Make sure that you and/or your REALTOR® have contacted the title company in advance to make sure they have a time slot open that is convenient for your schedule. Title companies are often booked up during the busy Summer months, so be sure to do this at least a week or two ahead of time.

Most buyers and sellers will attend the closing together; so your REALTOR® may need to coordinate this with the listing agent as well. This is usually an easy step - just make sure that it doesn’t get pushed off until the last minute so that the title company can accommodate your request.


It is wise to do a Final Walkthrough before the closing. The purpose of a Final Walkthrough is to verify that any repairs have been completed, that all of the seller’s personal belongings have been moved out, and/or to make sure that the home is ready to move in and in the condition that you expected it to be in.

This is not a time to renegotiate repair items on the sales contract. It’s simply a safeguard to make sure that no major issues arise that could cause the closing to terminate; which would likely be followed by legal proceedings to mitigate the issues. Minor annoyances like finding a few burned out light bulbs during your final walk-through shouldn't be cause for you to delay your closing.


One the day of closing, you will need to have your driver’s license (or other approved photo ID) and certified funds (cashier’s check or wire transfer) for any monetary amount required from you at closing. You will meet at the title company to sign all of the required documentation.

A typical closing usually takes less than an hour. As the buyer, if you're getting a loan, you will be signing the lion's share of the paperwork, so get that John Hancock ready! Once the documentation has been signed and your lender has funded the transaction, you will be given the keys and the house is yours! Hurray! 

Final Thoughts

Buyers Love ClosingsEach of the 10 steps listed above has the potential to sabotage your home purchase. Make sure that you stay on top of your transaction to identify any potential issues before they arise.

If you have a good mortgage lender and/or REALTOR®, they will catch these issues immediately. They will keep you in the loop through each step of the transaction and protect your interests. A good REALTOR® is your best resource to make sure that every step above is met in a timely manner with no added drama.

Unfortunately, it is possible that your REALTOR® and/or mortgage lender may disappear once you have a signed contract. If you aren't confident in your REALTOR's® ability to keep track of the transaction, take charge and communicate directly with your lender and title company to make sure that everything is moving along as planned.

Buying a home takes time and energy, but it’s extremely rewarding. After you sign the papers at closing and get your keys, all of your hard work will have paid off and you will feel a wave of excitement as you move on to enjoy your new home and your next phase of life! 

Home Buyer Checklist 10 Things To Do Once You Have An Accepted Offer

Andrew FortuneHi! I'm Andrew Fortune, the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of much of the content on this website. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to share this article with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.


Our Most Recent Blog Posts:


GreatColoradoHomes.com Logo

Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog

33 Responses to "Home Buying Checklist: What Happens After Your Offer is Accepted? "

Debora Barnes Andersson Realty Group Kodak Tennessee wrote: I appreciate you sharing your insights. Very good insights.

Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2015 at 1:10pm.

NIelle McCammon wrote: Excellent infographic. It seems ridiculous that a buyer should have to know these things, but unfortunately there are a lot of lazy agents and lenders out there. A good lender will be on top of all these steps and keep the buyer informed every step of the way. But everyone should be informed of how the process works! Your blogs are so helpful!

Posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 10:26am.

Lauren wrote: Wonderful infographic! Home buyers should definitely be educated on what happens after the offer is accepted so they can make the correct decisions. Thanks for sharing.

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 at 3:23pm.

Nora Moore wrote: That makes sense that you would make some kind of payment so that the homeowners know that you are serious about buying their home. It would be a pain to take your house off the market and then have the other people back out. It's a good idea to make sure that everything is in order with this stuff. The key is to make sure that you are involved in all the steps and aware of deadlines.

Posted on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 at 7:24am.

orange county homes for sale wrote: Andrew, great post! I really liked the simplicity in which your presented the infographic organized step by step. I wish to thank you for your time and effort for this excellent article. I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post. Keep up the great real estate tips!!!

Posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 at 1:11am.

Anita Mas wrote: It sounds like there are a lot of things to keep track of when you're buying a house. How long is the average inspection period after they accept your bid on the house?

Posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2015 at 7:15am.

Drew wrote: Fantastic infographic for buying a home. This is the perfect checklist for first timers! Thanks so much for sharing.

Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 11:47am.

john wrote: Amazing infographic
Great ! this is quite informative for real estate investing tips .. I like your list...thanx

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 at 5:11am.

Veronica Marks wrote: I've always found it so interesting that the appraisal doesn't come sooner in the home buying process. I would think that doing an appraisal immediately after the property inspections would be ideal, or even doing them at the same time. Is there a reason that they don't take place earlier?

Posted on Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 at 10:23am.

Hannah wrote: This checklist is really helpful, especially for first time home buyers. There's a lot that goes on when you purchase a home, and it can be difficult to keep track of everything.

Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2016 at 8:58am.

Team Jardine wrote: Buying a home requires a lot of time and effort. It is difficult to understand how to find and finance perfect home. This checklist provided all the necessary details. Thanks.

Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2016 at 5:13am.

Faylinn wrote: I really like your infographic about what it takes to buy a home! My husband and I have been looking at real estate and are considering buying a home by the end of this year. However, this would be our first home and so we don't know anything about the process. Once we make sure that we have the money that we need for the house that we want to buy, I am definitely going to be using this infographic until we finally close the deal.

Posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 at 11:04am.

Johan@Amtwarranty wrote: If you need to pull money from an investment, do it right away. Keep the paperwork for the transaction to show your lender you liquidated funds to get your down payment.

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2016 at 11:44pm.

Kendall Ryder wrote: I think most people are overwhelmed when they start thinking about purchasing a house. I like that you point out the different steps needed before buying. There are so many documents and forms that need to be filled out and signed and there is time it will take. I also like the fact that you mention to make sure the lender orders the appraisal ASAP. Because, again, there will be a deal of time involved and the faster you get everything taken care of, the faster you are a new homeowner.

Posted on Monday, June 27th, 2016 at 7:03am.

Bop Lowe wrote: This is really helpful. I can see how important the appraisal can be. That can really help to determine the final cost of the home. It may be less than what the asking price is, so you may often get a much better deal than anticipated.

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 at 1:34pm.

Marie Watson wrote: Andrew, you make a good point about how important it is to make sure you gather all of the correct documents for your home loan, the sale contract, the title, etc. It seems like it could be helpful to work with a real estate agent who can help you facilitate the home purchase and ensure that all of the correct information has been provided. My husband and I are looking into buying a home, so we will have to make sure we hire an agent to help us through the process and avoid any crucial mistakes.

Posted on Friday, July 1st, 2016 at 4:11pm.

Kendall Everett wrote: Checking with the mortgage lender during the loan process is important. If they are waiting for any documents, then you should get it to them as soon as possible as to not cause more delay. It's also possible that the real estate agent will help you keep in touch with the lender.

Posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2016 at 1:12pm.

Mark David wrote: Very important info-graphic. People should do necessary inspection before buying new home. Investing huge amount to buy home without doing any inspection it worthless.

Posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 11:49am.

Luke Yancey wrote: Thank you for adding property inspections to your list! I agree-- this is one of the most important steps of the process. If you don't have it done and later find a huge issue in your home, you will have to repair it yourself and with no help from anyone!

Posted on Friday, November 11th, 2016 at 7:40am.

lenny strin wrote: Very informative blog for buying home.

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2017 at 12:35am.

Leviticus Bennett wrote: Thanks for the simple checklist to buying a home! The infographic looks great and is super informative. I'm getting married this year and will be buying my first home, so i appreciate the help!

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 11:56am.

Ivy Baker wrote: I have been thinking about selling my home soon. So, it is good to know that after I accept an offer the home will need to get inspected. It might be smart for me to get an inspection before I sell my home. That way, I won't get any surprises.

Posted on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 at 1:14pm.

Bill wrote: Appraisals in the Denver metro area are taking a lot longer than 10 days for the past 2 years.
Want it sooner don;t be surprised to pay 2-3x the normal price. One appraiser told me a few clients paid $2400 for a normal $450 appraisal last year due to time constraints. Imagine that.

Posted on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 at 8:54am.

Sandra Hexner wrote: Thanks for going into so much detail on what we should expect when our offer gets accepted. My husband wants to buy our next home all by ourselves, so I wanted to look into the process to see if that's a smart decision. I didn't realize how important the title commitment phase was. If we need to hire a lawyer to review the title, then I think I'm leaning towards a realtor because it would take a lot of stress out of the process.

Posted on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 at 8:29am.

Harper Campbell wrote: My husband and I are getting ready to buy our first house, but we are curious to know more about how to go about doing it. I like how you pointed out that one thing we need to look into having a property inspection done, and in a timely manner. It's good to know that to set this up we might want to ask our realtor to see if there is anyone that they recommend for finding any issues that might be present.

Posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 at 10:47am.

Andrew McBurney wrote: This is an awesome post! Getting the home inspection done is so important and, in my opinion, shouldn't be forgotten about. It's always great to find trust worthy real estate agents to connect people that are trying to close a deal with. Thanks for sharing.

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 at 8:45am.

Alexis Hunt wrote: These are some great tips. Also check if your house falls under flood zone. Even though your home is not near a beach or river, you need to check if it falls under high-risk zone which can increase your insurance costs drastically. You may also find it difficult to sell your house in the future too.

Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2018 at 6:08am.

Rick Jonie wrote: I'm in this process and just had an appraisal done in the property I like. But so many issues are coming back on this home. I am trying to separate my love of the home with common sense.

Posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 at 12:55am.

Gonenc Emlak wrote: Thanks for sharing post. Your blogs are helpful! I would like to follow. It is nice to read a clear and fluent blog.

Posted on Sunday, August 12th, 2018 at 1:48pm.

Tom Tyman wrote: Great infographic! This is a must-have resource for people who are buying properties, more so if it's their first time. Admittedly, the process of buying a property can be very confusing and overwhelming that you'll need all the help that you can get.

Posted on Saturday, August 18th, 2018 at 6:03pm.

Jane Preston wrote: Awesome post. Very informative and detailed. I am going to share this. Thank you.

Posted on Sunday, August 26th, 2018 at 1:10am.

Splendid Group wrote: Talk with your agent about types of inspections you might want to order and the timeframe for your contingencies.

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2018 at 4:11am.

Andres Foster wrote: This is a great guide especially for new home buyers to make sure that they get the most out of their investment.

Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 at 2:43pm.

Leave a Comment