100 Real Estate & Relocation Tips in 100 Days (Day 83)
Of course by "under contract" we mean you have a mutually signed agreement to purchase a home, subject to a few conditions. The idea of "under contract" has many different iterations, such as "excepted bid", or "mutual agreement to buy", but whatever the reference, it is understood that there is a written and legally binding document between a buyer and a seller to buy real property.
So now what? Well, unfortunately, you can't back the moving van to the door just yet. There are things to do, important things, and you will have to lend a hand
First, you have to attend to your mortgage loan. Your Realtor® can help, but today's maze of privacy laws and regulatory requirements forces you, the buyer, to take an assertive role in the mortgage loan process. If you have not already made a loan application, you need to do so immediately. Make certain the contract documents are delivered promptly to your lender. The very best thing would have had your Realtor® and you lender communicating during your home search, with as many of the loan approval details as possible completed prior to you negotiating process. Communicate with your lender frequently, based on a schedule agree to by you and your lender. While not true in all states, Colorado property closings are date specific, so you want to be certain that the loan process is moving along in a timely fashion. New rules regarding appraisals slow the process down a bit, and require more process planning.
Second, you must attend to the due diligence aspects of the home you intend to buy. A general home inspection from a certified professional is a must, and there may be a need for other more specific inspections for such things as heating systems, Radon, or roof condition. Whatever is needed to assure your peace of mind, you need to get started. You Realtor® will help with coordination, but you must be proactive, and present. Take this time to knock a few doors, meet and ask questions of your new neighbors. IF schools are important, go visit the schools. If a particular house of worship is important, go visit. You will have an opportunity to read and question the title insurance commitment. While few homes are not sold without clear title, any related covenants are usually lengthy and complicated. You must understand the title and covenants or run the risk of nasty surprises somewhere down the road.
After you have satisfied the requirements and reviews of due diligence, you can turn your attention to preparing your move. Making sure of utility transfers, furniture delivery, communications installation, and all of those service type things that you have to have in place to function should be addressed now. If you will be out of state for the closing, make certain you have arranged for delivery of required documents, necessary notaries, and money transfers.
You Realtor will assist with, and in some cases complete, most of the things mentioned above. Your Realtor® has little influence today regarding your mortgage loan, so you will have to be attentive. Most Realtors® have check off forms to provide guidance in completing all of the necessary things, but for best results, take an active role in the process.