HOW TO SAFEGUARD YOUR HOME-
You have a contract to purchase the home you love!
Now you can relax because the sellers can’t sell it to anyone else unless you reject it and back out.
I will be working diligently behind the scenes to coordinate all the people, paperwork, details and events required to pilot you to a smooth closing.
But there are a few important things you will need to do to help me protect you.
I will give you step by step instructions when you need to take action.
And I will be available to answer questions whenever you have them.
Here is a quick overview of what you will need to do….
KEEP YOUR PERSPECTIVE
Don’t be surprised or thrown off balance by turbulent feelings. Your hopes and dreams for your new home connect to deep emotions, so highs and lows are part of the process.
Doubts and questions are normal as soon as you know you have a contract, so don't worry about them or overthink them. You've used lots of extra energy finding, choosing, and securing this home, and your emotions may need a few "down" days to recover (just like your body would need if you had just run a marathon).
Please share your feelings with me. I care about you, not just your purchase! I’ll help you keep it all in perspective.
TURN IN YOUR EARNEST MONEY
We’ll need to get your earnest money turned in right away.
The earnest money holder will deposit it right away and hold it in a protected account and then credit it back to you when we close (or they’ll refund it to you if you need to cancel your contract because of something we find out about your new home).
You can send a wire transfer (always verbally verify wiring instructions with someone at the title company), or deliver a check, or I can pick up the check from you and deliver it for you.
COOPERATE WITH YOUR LENDER
CALL THEM RIGHT AWAY
Your lender needs to start right away to get everything done.
I’ll send them a copy of your contract.
You’ll need to sign some forms & estimates.
COMPLY WITH ANY REQUESTS
Your lender may need updated signatures, statements and seemingly random documents from you all the way through the loan process. Don’t worry, don’t argue, and don’t delay—just bring what they need.
Your lender is not looking for reasons to deny your loan—they are meeting requirements and deadlines to get your loan fully approved and funded.
AVOID ANY CHANGES
Don’t make any changes to your job (even promotions) without checking with your lender.
Don’t make any credit purchases or open any new accounts.
Don’t miss any payments.
Don’t transfer any money in or out without checking first.
PLAN FOR YOUR CASH TO CLOSE
Your lender will give you estimated numbers at the beginning of the process and actual numbers just a few days before we close.
You’ll need to wire funds or bring a cashier’s check to the title company.
Make sure your lender knows which account your funds are coming from.
INSPECT & APPROVE
YOU CAN INSPECT ANYTHING
I strongly recommend that you pay a qualified inspector to do a general inspection (roof, structure, foundation, windows, doors, appliances, electrical, plumbing, hvac, and much more) for $400-$500 & give us a detailed report.
It probably also makes sense to do a radon test (about $150) and a sewer scope (about $150). The inspections are usually the only out-of-pocket costs before closing.
YOU CAN OBJECT TO ANYTHINg
If you no longer want this home, you are free to back out without penalty.
Otherwise, we’ll turn in an inspection objection that says, “I still want to buy it if the sellers…”
WE'll GET the CONCERNS RESOLVED
The sellers may agree to do everything you have asked, or we may need to negotiate to reach a resolution you can be happy with.
When we reach agreement, we will all sign an inspection resolution that amends the contract (if we can’t find a solution you’re happy with, you can cancel your purchase).
I will coordinate with the sellers and their agent to make sure all agreed upon items are taken care of.
We can do a final walk through before we close, so you can make sure everything looks okay.
REVIEW THE AVAILABLE INFORMATION
You can sign these right away to acknowledge your receipt when I send them to you. If they raise questions or concerns, we will get the answers you need when we inspect.
-Sellers property disclosure
-Square footage disclosure
-Lead-based paint disclosure
The title company will research all public records and guarantee your ownership rights once we close. In about a week, they will send a commitment to insure, and you can ask questions or back out if you’re not comfortable with what they discover about the steps required to transfer the ownership to you and the taxes, rules, or easements will limit your ownership rights.
If there is an active home owners association, we will find out all about them, and you can back out if you’re not comfortable with…
-Their financial policies
ask all your questions
What are the neighbors like?
How is your commute?
How are the schools?
What utilities & vendors will you need?
How much will insurance cost?
What future development is coming?
LINE UP YOUR INSURANCE
You'll probably want to start by calling the insurance company you are already using for homeowners insurance (if this is your first home, start with the company you use for car insurance, since most companies offer package discounts), but it is not a bad idea to shop around a bit, because insurance rates may vary widely based on the age, size, and location of your new home.
Make sure your new policy covers total replacement. Your insurance should pay to completely replace your home and belongings if you ever had a catastrophic loss from flood or fire, but smaller claims (like hail damage to your roof) are much more likely, and your policy should pay for total replacement with new if you have damage. Beware of policies that only cover depreciated value, because they could leave you with big expenses in the future.
Make sure your deductible won't be a catastrophic expense. The higher your deductible (the amount you have to pay for repairs before the insurance coverage starts), the lower your premiums should be, but don't get stuck with a deductible that would ruin you if you have a claim. Your deductible might be a specific number of dollars, or it might be a percentage of your home's value, but make sure you understand how much you would have to pay so you don't get surprised.
CONFIRM THE DETAILS
Now that you’ve found the home you love, I'm happy to turn off your home search and email notifications anytime you want—just let me know.
If you’re not going to be here to sign when we close (everyone who’s on the title to your new home), be sure to let me know right away so I can set up a Power of Attorney for you or arrange to have your closing documents mailed to you to sign and return.
If you have questions or concerns, or you remember something you forgot to have me cover in the contract, please let me know right away. I’ll do everything I can to take care of you!