Posted By Alan Donald @ Oct 21st 2015 3:30pm In: Buyers

What Happens Next?

Now that you have your home under contract, what needs to happen before you can close on the home?

  • Choose a real estate attorney.  SC is an attorney state so you will need to hire an attorney to close the transaction (in other states, title companies may perform these functions).  The attorney performs many functions including the following;  tax check, title search, title examination, title insurance, closing document preparation, loan documentation, deed prep, & closing/settlement.
  • Make sure you have the earnest money in your account.  Your check will be deposited in an escrow account within 48 hours and held there until closing.  
  • Complete your loan application.  Your lender may require you to provide detailed financial and personal information as well as the "ratified" contract for the property.  (A "ratified" contract is the fully executed document with all signatures that has been delivered to both parties).  Your lender will ask you to pay for the appraisal at this point.
  • Inspections.  The contract will specify a deadline to perform all inspections and due diligence (buyer research on the property).  The home inspection will check for structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and other systems within the home.  Sellers ought to provide a home that is free of leaks, structurally sound and safe (electrical, plumbing).  Any other repairs are subject to negotiation.  The termite inspection checks for the presence of active termites or moisture damage.   
  • Survey & Elevation Certificate.  A survey is optional and shows the boundaries, easements, fences, and encroachments of the property.  An elevation certificate provides the basis for calculating the cost of flood insurance and is required if the property is in a flood zone.
  • HOA Due Diligence.  It is important to research financial viability of the homeowners association or regime.  It essential to know what the fees cover and also if there is pending litigation or any special assessments.  Many homeowner associations charge a "welcome to the neighborhood fee" in the form of a capital contribution or transfer fee. 
  • Obtain insurance.  It is important to research availability and cost of all insurance.  Shop around and select a hazard (homeowners) insurance policy (mandatory if you have a loan), wind and hail coverage, earthquake coverage (optional but recommended).  A flood insurance policy (required if you have a loan and are in a flood zone). You may be required to have the appraisal done by the lender before you can get accurate insurance quotes (they may want to see the value of the improvements, since the land is not insurable).

As your local real estate experts we can offer you as much assistance and guidance as you want during the contract-to-close process.   We work with a fantastic team of attorneys, mortgage lenders, inspectors, insurance agents, contractors, and other specialists that help make the home purchase process as smooth as possible.  
Want to learn more about the home buying process?  Give us a call or send us a text, 843-900-0155.

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