So You’re Under Contract… Now What?

Under Contract Process
The purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in their lifetime. Corken + Company knows that it is more than just purchasing a house- it’s about hopes, dreams, aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved.


Finding that perfect home can be an exhausting but very gratifying process. Having a signed contract in hand may seem like the end of the journey. However, many important steps are yet to come. Paying careful attention to each of these steps will ensure a smooth conclusion.


Earnest Money:

Contracts are typically presented to sellers by buyers and are accompanied by a deposit, known as earnest money. Remember, once the contract is accepted those funds need to be deposited as soon as possible. This is usually done with a third party, called an escrow agent, at an agreed upon time, for safekeeping until the closing of the sale.


The escrow agent can be chosen by either the seller or the buyer and is responsible for collecting all the necessary documentation from both parties.


Loan, Appraisal and Inspection:

Most buyers begin the search for financing early by securing a letter from a lender supporting their eligibility for a mortgage. After the contract is signed, the buyer must secure the funding within a defined period of time which involves completing a full loan application. In addition, this includes having the house appraised to assure its value is comparable to the agreed upon purchase price.


It’s important that buyers be certain that they will have complete legal title to the property they are purchasing and that no other person could claim they have an interest in that property. This process is often done by the title company. Typically, the seller will initiate the title search process which should result in a document at closing showing clear title to the property. Buyers almost always purchase Title Insurance which helps protect their interest in the property.



Remember, before acquiring the new home, it is a good idea for the buyer to have homeowner’s insurance. Utility accounts will need to be transferred and a final walk-through may be important. This will help to be sure any requested repairs have been made.


Delays in Closing

Finally, it is time to head to closing. In most cases, all of this goes smoothly. However, there can be delays in closing that are avoidable. For this reason, here are some of the common causes for delay:
  • Submitting incorrect information on a loan application
  • Missing documents from either the seller or buyer
  • Unknown defects are found in the property
  • Clear title is not available or delayed
  • Dates change to the contract due to vacations and travel
  • The appraisal comes in too low
  • The lender changes interest rates or withdraws funding


Remember, buying a home is a nuanced process. There are a surprising number of documents involved in buying or selling a home. Because of this, it’s advisable to have an agent involved from the outset of your search to guide and assist you with what is a complicated and important transaction. Many buyers and sellers engage the services of a qualified attorney to review all of the contracts and closing documents involved.


Fear not, our team at Corken + Company is ready and willing to help you with this process. Contact us today!


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Rachel Sartin

Lori Corken