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

Posted by Andrew Fortune on Monday, March 2nd, 2015 at 5:17am. 170,568 Views

What Happens After The Seller Accepts My Offer?When you buy a house, it takes time, energy and focus to get through the process. Getting your loan pre-approval completed, finding a house, structuring a strong 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. There’s still more work to do to get your transaction closed. The most common question that I hear once my buyers offer has been accepted is: “What happen’s 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 the steps below is 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 below and make sure that nothing is overlooked. I have also made an infographic checklist, located at the end of this article.


10 Things To Take Care of Once You Have An Accepted Real Estate Offer


Earnest MoneyEarnest Money

There needs to be some cash involved in the beginning of a transaction to protect the sellers interests while they take their house off the market. Earnest money is your proof as a buyer that you “earnestly” want to purchase their home.

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 usually documented in your sales contract.

Property InspectionsProperty Inspections

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 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, structural, HVAC, 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 allowed in your sales contract.

Bill GassettCheck out this article by Bill Gassett, a top Massachusetts REALTOR titled "Home Inspection Problems The Inspector May Not Find". It addresses many home inspection issues that you should be aware of.

Lender DocumentsLender Documents

As soon as you have an executed sales contract, you will need to communicate with your mortgage lender so that they will start the mortgage process. Be prepared to provide lots of documentation throughout this transaction. Make sure that you get the requested documentation to them ASAP to limit any problems with their timeline. Some lenders are not as thorough with regards to checking in with you to keep you updated on their progress. 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 contract by not closing on time. 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. Make sure that you are not put in this situation by promptly providing any documentation to your mortgage lender in a timely manner.



Title CommitmentTitle Commitment

This step is handled by the Title Company. They will issue a title commitment that reviews the title history of the property 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 in it that looks concerning. Most title commitments are straight forward 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 your 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 have completed the inspection process.

Anita ClarkCheck out this article by Anita Clark, a top Warner Robins, GA REALTOR titled "A Guide to Home Appraisals". This article breaks down the appraisal process and explains how it affects your home purchase.

Home Owners Insurance & WarrantiesHome Owners Insurance & Warranties

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

Also, some seller’s will provide an allowance for you to purchase a home warranty. If you are purchasing a home warranty, you’ll want to shop around and find the home warranty company that best suites your needs. Once you have found the right home warranty provider, be sure that the title company knows who you plan to use.



Schedule UtilitiesTurn On Utilities

Now that you are 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.

Schedule Closing Date & TimeSchedule Closing Date & Time

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. Some sellers like to close at the same time as the buyers, 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 put off until the last minute so that the title company can accommodate your request.

Final WalkthroughFinal Walkthrough

It is wise to do a final walkthrough before the closing. The purpose 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 into. This is not a time to renegotiate any 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.

Kyle HiscockCheck out this article by Kyle Hiscock, a top Rochester, NY REALTOR titled "Final Walk Through – What It Is and Why It’s Important". It lays out the importance of a final walk through in an easy to follow format.

Close The TransactionClose The Transaction

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. Once the documentation has been signed and your lender has funded the transaction, you will be given the keys and the house it yours!

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 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 are 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. At GreatColoradoHomes.com, we have a full-time transaction coordinator who’s sole purpose is to coordinate the smoothest transaction possible. This eliminates any details from being overlooked during the sales process.

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! 

Home Buyer Tips: 10 Things To Take Care Of Once You Have An Accepted Offer

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Andrew FortuneHi There! I'm 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 leave a comment in the message box below, or to share this article on social media 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 contact me anytime at andrew@greatcoloradohomes.com.

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26 Responses to "Home Buying Checklist [Infographic]: 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.

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