Let’s talk about those deadlines…the pesky deadlines that we need to be aware of when buying a home…
Hello August and the last gasps of summer vacation. Many people are thinking about school clothes, school supplies, and last-minute vacations. August always feels like we are getting close to a timeline. Is it just me that feels like that? We have been at the Clark County Fair all week and the Fair, to me, always feels like the beginning of the end of summer. Real estate has timelines and deadlines as well…no matter what time of year you are buying, or selling.
There are many people involved in your home-buying adventure…some you see, and some you never will. In all there are 28 different people involved…and you know the old saying… ‘too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the broth’…but as long as we all work together, it goes forward the best way possible. One thing I always like to say is, “There are never problems, there are only solutions”. In every home-buying adventure, there are always ‘hiccups’…it happens every time. What we try to do is to present solutions to these hiccups….instead of just saying, “We have a problem”. While we can’t always foresee what hiccups, or problems will occur, once they do come up, we work really hard to provide you with solution options, & to go over those with you so you understand the options you have. In the end, the final choices are always yours. This is YOUR home-buying adventure….not ours. We act as GPS…we can provide you with directions to your destination, but ultimately, you drive the bus to get us all there.
In real estate we have a phrase, “time is of the essence”, and it is an important one. Everything in the process has a time limit, and you need to know what those time limits are since they affect you directly. These time limits start from the moment you have an accepted offer on a home, but what are they? Let’s talk a little bit about ‘soft’ deadlines, and ‘hard’ deadlines…
Steps when buying a home…these are ‘soft’ deadlines…
* – Take a home buyer education class (can not stress this step enough!)
* – Talk with a lender, and get pre-approved.
* – Talk with, and hire a real estate agent (see past blog for questions to ask!)
* – Start looking for a home
* – Find ‘the’ home
……these steps have no timelines. Don’t feel rushed. Remember this is YOUR home-buying adventure, and the only deadline you have here is your own. Sometimes this moves very fast, and sometimes these steps can take months. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s… you are an individual and everyone’s home-buying adventure is as unique as you are.
* – Make an offer on a home – *
….typically you have an “offer expiration date” as part of your offer. This says that your offer expires at such and such date, and time. Now, if the sellers respond to your offer after that date/time, the ball is in your court. You can accept, counter, or walk away. If the sellers accept your offer prior to the expiration date then you have a signed contract. If the sellers accept your offer after the expiration date, you can still walk away since ‘technically’ the offer is already expired. The seller doesn’t have to legally respond to your offer before or after your expiration date. The sellers’ agent does have a legal responsibility to present ALL offers to the sellers prior to the expiration date/time. If the seller counters your offer, meaning the sellers have changed something in the offer, the ball is in your court. You have the right to accept the change, counter the counteroffer, or ignore it altogether. An offer in a counteroffer situation is not a mutually accepted agreement, anyone else can still make an offer on the home….and the seller can still accept a different offer. The offer is not pending sale until both parties have mutually agreed to all conditions of the offer.
Once you have a mutually accepted offer…the ‘hard’ deadlines begin…
** – It’s not just you with deadlines here. Your Realtors also have deadlines. Once you have a mutually accepted offer (CONGRATULATIONS! You are now PENDING Sale!!), your Realtor will send over a copy of the signed around agreement to you, to the title officer (aka escrow company), and to your lender. This is very important! Your lender will contact you to come in to sign the paperwork to actually start your loan. Remember… a preapproval is just a piece of paper from the lender that says “‘IF’ you find a home, and get a signed around mutually accepted offer on it, that the lender ‘could’ give you a loan based on the information that was provided by you to the lender at the time of preapproval”. You don’t actually have a loan until you have a mutually accepted offer on a home. You also don’t have an interest rate either… (see last month’s video on the website LearningToBuyAHome.com for more information on that)
But what deadlines do YOU have?????
* – Earnest money becomes due within 3 business days of the mutual acceptance – *
EM is a ‘good faith’ deposit. If a buyer were to back out, WITH a legal reason, this deposit would be refundable to the buyer. If the buyer backs out of the contract WITHOUT a legal reason, this deposit goes to the seller. At closing, this deposit can go toward the buyer’s closing costs or down payment…or (depending on the buyer’s loan type), this deposit can be returned to the buyer. An earnest money deposit can be either a check (no cash!), & dropped off to the title company in person, or wired to the title company. Many buyers choose to wire the EM deposit to the title company. Your Realtor will assist you with an email from the title company with instructions. Before you wire any funds to anyone during the Home buying (or home selling) process, do your due diligence. It is unfortunate that Cyber Fraud is a real thing. (More information on earnest money and the legal reasons for backing out of a contract are gone over in the classes, or you can look through the blog history on the LearningToBuyAHome.com website for more information.)