Dear Home Buyer;
I know you are excited right now and I can see the sparkles in your eyes for we have just found “the home” for you, and we have an accepted offer. Congratulations!
As your Realtor, my first mission is accomplished: helping you find a home that matches your wants and needs, and your budget. Now I’m switching gear and my mission is to see that we stay on tract until we get to the closing table and you take possession of your new home.
So what do we do now?
Our next step together is inspections.* The number of days allowed for inspections is in our contract (generally 10 to 14 days). This is your opportunity to get to know your home: take it very seriously. Even if you are buying a new home, I highly recommend that your hire a licensed home inspector. And even if the home appears to have been renovated and remodeled, your inspector will most certainly find something to note. They always do. Click here to view This Month in Real Estate (from KW) about the importance of the home inspection.
This is also the time where we have the home inspected for wood destroying insects. Most people refer to this as the “termite inspection” but there are, in fact, other insects your pest control technician will look for. Your lender may or may not require a Wood Destroying Insect Report (WDIR). This is still something you should do; we live in south Louisiana.
On the lending side, you need to complete your loan application within the number of days we have specified in the contract (in our area, it is usually 5 to 7 calendar days). I will forward a copy of the purchase agreement to your preferred lender and you need to provide him/her with all the documents needed to process the application.
If I haven’t already, I need to get a check or money order from you for the “deposit.” Remember that the money will be deposited in an escrow account until we close and it will then be given back to you (either as a check or as a credit towards your closing costs).
Your inspection period is also the perfect time to start shopping around for home owners’ insurance. Your insurance agent will be able to confirm the flood zone status of the property (if there are any doubts). Get quotes from different companies and choose one.
NOTE: If you are buying a home in south Louisiana during hurricane season (June 1st-December 1st), be prepared to order your insurance with a future effective date 2 or 3 weeks before the set closing date (after appraisal is completed). If you wait too long and a named storm enters the Gulf, you will not be able to purchase insurance until the storm/hurricane dissipates and this could delay your closing.
Because we live in south Louisiana, I also have to tell you about mold related hazards. Information about how it can affect real property is available at the EPA website.
You should also take a minute to visit the sex offender registry if you haven’t done so and research the property you are in the process of buying. This database is maintained by the Louisiana State Police.
Once our inspections are completed, we will go through the appraisal phase with the lender, and then the title search with the attorney. I know this may seem like a lot and you may even feel a little overwhelmed at this point (especially with all the excitement of having found your home). Rest easy and relax; this is why I’m here and I will guide you every step of the way.
* Steps of the home buying process and the order in which they occur may vary from one area or state to another.