The Journey Home: What Happens AFTER Your Offer Is Accepted

The home buying process can be a long, drawn out process that could also involve a roller coaster of emotions. It has become the new norm for sellers to receive multiple offers on their homes, and this is causing heightened competition amongst home buyers. If your offer is accepted during this current housing market, consider this to be a huge accomplishment. Here’s what happens next.

Beautiful brick home
Photo by Dillon Kydd on Unsplash

Under Contract

Day 1: Binding Agreement date & 1st day of Due Diligence

  • Your earnest money (typically 1% of the purchase price) will be due within 3 days from the binding agreement date. This money is wired to the settlement/closing attorney.
  • Be sure to let your lender know that you are under contract and submit all required documentation on time.

Due Diligence Period

Day 1-10: Inspection and Discovery

  • During the due diligence period, schedule an inspection with a reputable home inspector who will do a thorough investigation of the home. Once this is complete, the inspector will provide a list of their findings. You can accept the home and the identified issues as-is, or you can request the seller to address some, or all, of the findings. It is important to be mindful and reasonable on smaller items, while being very cautious and vigilant of potentially significant issues.
  • By the end of this period, any items revealed that need to be addressed must be agreed upon by the seller to repair. If no agreement is reached, you may terminate the contract.

Appraisal Contingency

Day 14: Your lender will arrange for a third party appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraisal lets all parties involved know that the price is fair. The loan file then moves on to the mortgage underwriter.

  • The appraised value should be equal to or greater than the purchase price. If the value is less than the purchase price, you have 3 options:
    1. Ask the seller to amend the purchase price
    2. Terminate the agreement
    3. The buyer can pay the difference between the sales price and the appraised value

Warranties & Insurance

The mortgage lender will require you, as the buyer, to obtain a home owner’s insurance policy on the property before closing. Shop around and choose a homeowner’s insurance provider and policy that works best for your home. Since homeowner’s insurance polices can vary in pricing and coverage. I recommend getting quotes from at least three insurance providers.

Financing Contingency Period

Day 21: The buyer’s loan should be approved by lender with or without conditions. If approved you will receive your final commitment letter that includes the final loan terms & percentage rates.

Closing Disclosure

Day 27 (or 3 days prior to the closing date): The buyer must acknowledge and sign for all fees affiliated with the purchase. Be sure to review and complete these documents as soon as possible to prevent any delays in closing.


Day 30 (based on loan type): Complete final walk through and send wire all cash to close to settlement/closing attorney. Keys will be received at closing.

  • It is best for the homebuyer to do a Final Walkthrough right before the closing. The purpose of a Final Walkthrough is to verify that all repairs have been completed. It’s also wise to check that all of the seller’s personal belongings are removed. This is your opportunity to make sure the home is ready to move in.
  • On the day of closing, be sure to bring an approved photo ID and certified funds. If you’re required to bring money, it will be on your closing statement. If you’re obtaining a mortgage loan to purchase the home, you will have to sign a lot of paperwork. So be prepared! Once the documentation is approved, and your lender has funded the transaction, the transaction is complete.

Published by Jessica Black

As a REALTOR® with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers in the Greater Atlanta area, I bring a wealth of knowledge on local neighborhoods, communities you are considering calling home. I strive to provide exceptional service every step of the way and an unrelenting commitment to understanding your needs and ensuring your satisfaction, so I can provide you with a real estate experience that exceeds your expectations.

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