Buying a house can be a complicated ordeal. There are many steps and you will experience a range of emotions. When you find that perfect house that you are ready to make an offer on, it can feel like the process is finally starting to wind down, but it is really just gearing up.
Here is what you can expect after you put in an offer on a house.
Your offer is rejected
When buying a house, this will feel like the worst case scenario. But remember that it isn’t the end of the road. If your offer is rejected then it’s time to move on unless you are willing to bring your price up to what they are asking. If not, don’t worry – there will be other houses.
You receive a counteroffer
If the seller wants to work with you but not at the price you set, they will submit a counteroffer to you. The offer will be similar to what you made, only will have more favorable terms for the seller. You have a few options when this happens. If you are unwilling to budge from your original offer, you can reject the counteroffer. Many times this will kill the deal completely so be willing to walk away from the house.
Or, you could counter offer their counteroffer. This back and forth process can go back and forth several times, but as long as you and the seller are willing to work with each other, an agreement can be reached.
Your offer is accepted
Best case scenario is that your offer is accepted as is. When this happens, the escrow process begins. If you want to close in a timely matter, you need to be prepared to keep the process moving. Your first step is to get your financing together. Hopefully you were pre-approved for a mortgage before you made your offer. Now is the time to go back to your lender and begin the mortgage application process.
Most lenders will require that you have an appraisal and home inspection completed on the property. Both of these steps can open the door for you to further negotiate on the price with the seller. Keep in mind if you reopen negotiations, you also open up the chance for the seller to walk away from the deal leaving you without a house.
You will also need to secure your homeowners insurance. Your lender will not be able to close your loan without this in place. Compare prices between multiple insurance agencies and make sure that you are getting ample coverage for what you would need to cover for your home and possessions in case of an issue.
When you have done your part when buying a house, it is time to sit back and wait. The underwriters for your loan will be going to work getting everything in place, and double and triple checking the information. Do not make any changes to your financial situation during this time if possible. As soon as they complete their process, you will be provided with a closing date. Once you sign on the line, the house is yours!