We are covering steps six through nine in this post, which will finalize our blog series "Nine Steps to Buying Property." Be sure to refer back to our post entitled "Nine Steps to Buying Property: Steps 1-5" to see our first recommended steps.

6. Wait for an Answer.  The seller will have 3 options on what they will do with your offer.  They can 1) accept the price and all of the terms you outlined in your offer with proper signatures and initials, or 2) reject your offer either verbally, in writing, or ignoring it.  3)  The seller can counter your offer.  If they counter, it means that they may agree to some of your price or terms, but not to others.  They will make changes to the offer and sent the offer back to you with changes.  If this occurs, their counter offer is to you and theirs is the only one offer on the table.

7. Make the Deal.  If the seller counter offers, it means you now have the same 3 options that the seller had above.  Remember, a home will not be purchased until either the buyer or the seller agrees to the other's offer.  When that occurs and all terms are agreed upon with signatures and initials, that is called a contract.  The "Effective Date" is the date that the last person signs or intials the contract.

8. Prepare for Closing.  If you are obtaining the loan, make application immediately if you didn't do it at the beginning of the process.  The lender will want many documents from you; be quick in gathering those documents and getting them back to them.  The lender will likely order an appraisal, survey, and termite inspection.  You should also immediately call for quotes for house insurance and get a professional home inspection.  The home inspection may reveal defects to the property which were not observable and may be covered in a seller's home warranty.  Your agent can recommend a good home inspection company or insurance company if you need them.  The time for all of these inspections and mortgage processing to finish often takes 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the type of loan.  If you re paying cash, you can close almost as quick as you want, just complete any inspections you wish.  With or without a loan, the closing will likely be conducted in a title company office.

9. Close.  In this area, the closing generally takes about 20 minutes for cash buyers and an hour or more for buyers using a loan.  The HUD is usually considered the most important document.  It outlines where the money is coming from (buyer, loan company, prior paid EMD, etc) and where it is going to (the seller, the seller's loan company, etc.)  It is also customary in this area for the buyer and seller to have seperate appointements at the title company.  Expect to receive keys when you leave.

From start to close, the time may take from 45 days to 6 months.  Steps 1 through 4 can take from a 7 days to 5 months, depending on how much dedicated time you spend on the steps and how much knowledge you want to make a decision.  Step 5 through 7 often takes 1 to 2 days, while step 8 can take from 3 to 6 weeks.


Written By Rob Brooks