Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted!
Hold up a minute though. It's not time to pop the Champagne just yet.
Although the news is exciting, and sure to get the adrenaline flowing, it's not a done deal yet. An accepted offer is the 6th step of the 22 steps in the home buying process. So, what happens next.
The first thing that you need to do is contact a home inspector to schedule the inspection. Although often called an "engineers report", the home inspection does not require an engineer to perform the inspection, unless you fear there may be structural issues. A typical home inspection should be performed by a licensed, insured, and experienced home inspector. Click Here for a list of our recommended Professional Home Inspectors.
When you call the inspector, you will let them know that you were referred by us, you have an accepted offer, and would like to set up a home inspection as soon as possible. The inspector will ask for some general details about the house, such as address, square footage (if available), number of bedrooms, if there is a basement and/or garage, etc. and will quote you a price to perform the inspection. You will be given the next available dates and times the inspector can get there. Choose a date that works for you, but you must then contact us so that we can confirm that the date and time works for the seller as well.
Below is a quick overview of what happens from here. It is important to keep in mind that a home inspection is for your knowledge only. A defect or concern is not necessarily a reason to start renegotiating the price and terms of the offer. If there are major issues, we can ask if the seller would be willing to address them. But, a seller has the right to say "no", just as you have the right to walk away, should you not be satisfied with the home after the inspection.
Something else to keep in mind is that the home is still available for showings to other buyers. A house does not come off of the open market until contracts have been fully executed (signed) by both the buyer and the seller. All offers must be presented to the seller, and the property marketed until then. That is why it is important to act quickly. There are still a few steps between the home inspection and fully executed contracts. You can find more details about each of these steps in written, video, and podcast/audio form, by visiting our 22 Step Home Buyers Guide.
*Home Inspection Report will be delivered within 24hrs. If there are no major concerns, we can inform the seller that we would like to proceed.
*Once the seller's attorney has been informed that we are satisfied with the home inspection, and would like to proceed, they prepare contracts
*Contracts are then sent to your attorney for review. If your attorney feels as though changes need to be made to the contract, they will often contact the sellers attorney and discuss any changes needed. It is very common for attorneys to negotiate on the specific wording of a contract prior to allowing their clients to sign, as we do not use standardized forms in downstate NY.
*You are then contacted to schedule a time and day to meet with the attorney to review and sign contracts.
*Contracts are then mailed to the seller's attorney, and the seller is contacted to schedule a date and time to review and sign.
As you can imagine, this can often take some time, depending on many different factors. This is why we strongly suggest using an attorney who specifically and exclusively practices Real Estate Law. It really can become an issue when we find out that contract signing is being held up because the attorney is not familiar with the specific wording of a real estate contract. Never-mind if contract signing is being held up because your attorney is in court!
Our goal is to get the home "under contract" as quickly as possible, so that it is no longer being marketed to other buyers. Having a true professional in your corner can make a big difference. Here are our recommendations for top Real Estate Attorneys.