Under Contract as a Buyer: Inspection and Appraisal Process

Many new homeowners feel like the hard part is over once a purchase agreement has been signed. But the 30-60 days it takes, on average, to close on a home is an extremely important time.  This is the time for you to review all the details, get ready to move, and make sure the deal makes it to closing. Here is what you can expect during the weeks leading up to closing:

  • Earnest Money Deposit. Once your offer is accepted, the deposit you put into escrow will be cashed by the seller.
  • Review the Seller’s Disclosure. Take the time to review the seller’s disclosure, which will inform you of any issues the seller is aware of.
  • Lock in your rate. You have already been pre-approved to purchase the property. Once a closing date has been selected, talk with your mortgage broker about locking in an interest rate. A mortgage rate can generally be locked in anywhere between 30-90 days, and will guarantee you a specific interest rate.
  • Home Inspection. Your Realtor will have suggestions of who to use as a professional inspector. Plan to be at the property during the inspection, which typically lasts a few hours. You can ask the inspector take a look at anything that stood out to you from the Seller’s Disclosure Statement.
  • Appraisal. An appraiser will visit the property and submit an appraisal of the house to the bank. If the appraisal is lower than the agreed upon purchase price, you can work with your real estate agent to negotiate a lower price.
  • Clear to Close. A couple of days before the date of the closing, you will receive a “clear to close” from your lender. This means your loan is fully approved. If this does not come on time, your closing date will get pushed back.

Before closing day, remain in contact with your buyer’s agent and your mortgage broker. This can be an overwhelming time in the home buying process, especially as you are packing and preparing to move.

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