Your offer was accepted! Now what?

So you’ve been searching for a home for a while, maybe made a few offers that were rejected, but alas, here you are in the land of an accepted offer, and what an amazing place it is to be.

If you’ve read my other home buying posts, you know I’ve been in the home search game for a while now, but I am happy to say that we found a perfect place we both love and our offer was accepted! (FINALLY!).

Within about an hour of the submitted offer, we had our negotiations done, an offer letter signed, by both us and the sellers, a home inspection scheduled, and our loan officer was notified and began working. Can you say fast-paced? Not sure if you’re the same, but I thrive that way. I would rather have us all work like busy bees than sit around and wait for everyone to get their acts together.

Don’t get me wrong, this is all very nerve-wracking, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Earnest money deposit? Escrow account? Closing Disclosure? How does it all work? You’re not alone in your anxiety, trust me. But, there are things that you can do to make the next steps streamlined, a little less stressful and make it easier to be more excited than nervous!

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Take a deep breath and get all your ducks in a row.

After your offer is accepted, you want to know what the next steps are from both your realtor and your loan officer.  Your loan officer will get the mortgage side of things started and your realtor will probably tell you to schedule your home inspection. This is usually conducted 10 days after the accepted offer. Your home inspection is one of the most important parts of the process before the actual mortgage application. If something comes up in the home inspection, and neither you nor the seller are willing to pay to fix it, you either walk away or take the risk of living in a home that needs a repair, which isn’t always a good idea for a first-time home buyer if it’s a really big one.

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Ask questions.

You are undoubtedly going to have a lot of questions, and it’s important not to just ask them to yourself in your head. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you have. This is even more important if you don’t understand the way something is being explained to you. If someone asks, “Do you understand?” you want to be able to say yes. You have a lot of people, between your realtor, your loan officer and family members and friends, who are there to help you and make you feel good about this whole thing. Whether you’re discussing closing costs or you’re at your home inspection, don’t be ashamed to ask about anything you’re not sure of.

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Stay organized.

When you were pre-approved for a mortgage, you should’ve sent important documents such as pay stubs, W2s, tax returns and bank statements over to your loan officer. If some time has passed, they might need you to send updated records. Keep all of these files in a safe place, as well as any other documentation you may need. I have a file on my computer, as well as a pocket folder, with every document that has been sent to our loan officer, including when we were pre-approved and when we sent updated records. Basically, any paper that has to do with the whole process is saved electronically and in a folder. Keeping things in order makes it so much easier to stay on top of everything.

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Do your research.

There is something that changes with the whole process once an offer is accepted. It’s kind of like moving up a level in a game. Everything that once was important, like searching for the right home and nit-picking your “must-haves,” are behind you and you now have a whole new world in front of you to navigate in order to keep climbing up. The Internet is full of great resources that lay the next steps out. You can find articles specifically written for first-time homebuyers so they are easy to understand. Just make sure they are from trusted and credible sources! While some might say I’m a little obsessive, since we’ve received the accepted offer, and have moved along quickly, I’ve Googled just about everything that I question. What does a mortgage application even look like? Google: Sample mortgage application. What causes a mortgage to get denied? Google: Reasons for mortgage denial. What is the difference between a loan officer, a loan processor and an underwriter? Google: Just that. The more knowledge you have, the more prepared you’ll be.

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Stay faithful

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the next steps (i.e. home inspection, mortgage application, underwriting process), but it’s really important to keep the faith that things will work out. I know for me, I am really nervous about what the underwriter is going to scrutinize and if there is something that comes up, will we be able to give ample explanation so they can understand and will it be enough for approval? I guess it’s the unknown that really freaks me out. That’s probably thanks to all the horror stories I’ve read online. Word of caution, don’t read those during your research! The only thing I can do is be really excited that we’re finally in this stage and look forward to all the craziness that’s to come. If you think about it, you’re on your way to homeownership and that’s really exciting! Just remember to ask questions, be prepared to provide documentation, respond to your realtor and loan officer in a timely fashion and stay calm through it all.

Got any tips for those who have just received an accepted offer? Let us know in the comments section below!

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