What Happens When Your Home Offer Gets Accepted? A Complete Guide for Sacramento Home Buyers

Buyer & Seller Series

What Happens When Your Home Offer Gets Accepted? A Complete Guide for Sacramento Home Buyers

Navigating the world of real estate can be exhilarating yet daunting, especially when you’re buying or selling Sacramento homes. One of the most thrilling moments is when your home offer gets accepted. But what happens next? Let’s walk through the entire process to ensure you’re well-prepared for the next steps.

Congratulations, Your Offer is Accepted!

When your offer is accepted, it’s time to celebrate! But remember, this is just the beginning of the closing process. Here's what you can expect:

1. Earnest Money Deposit

  • What It Is: This is a good-faith deposit you make to show the seller you're serious about purchasing the home. It typically ranges from 1% to 3% of the purchase price.
  • Example: If you’re buying a $400,000 home, your earnest money deposit might be between $4,000 and $12,000.

2. Open Escrow

  • What It Is: Escrow is a neutral third party that holds funds and documents until all conditions of the sale are met.
  • Process: Your real estate agent will open escrow with a local escrow company. This step ensures that both the buyer and seller meet their contractual obligations.

3. Home Inspection

  • Purpose: A professional home inspection will identify any potential issues with the property.
  • Timeline: Typically, you have a certain number of days (usually 10-14) to complete the inspection.
  • Outcome: If issues are found, you can negotiate repairs, ask for a price reduction, or even back out of the deal without losing your earnest money.

4. Appraisal

  • Why It’s Important: Lenders require an appraisal to ensure the home’s value matches the loan amount.
  • Process: A licensed appraiser will visit the property and compare it to similar homes recently sold in the area (comparables or "comps").
  • Outcome: If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer, you may need to renegotiate the price or cover the difference out of pocket.

5. Loan Approval and Underwriting

  • Steps: Your lender will review all financial documents and the appraisal to finalize your mortgage.
  • Outcome: Once underwriting is complete, you’ll receive a clear-to-close status.

6. Title Search and Insurance

  • Purpose: A title company will ensure the property is free of any liens or claims and will provide title insurance.
  • Why It Matters: This protects you and your lender from potential legal disputes over property ownership.

7. Final Walkthrough

  • Timing: Usually conducted 24-48 hours before closing.
  • Purpose: To ensure the property’s condition hasn’t changed and that any agreed-upon repairs were made.

8. Closing

  • What to Expect: This is the final step where you sign all the necessary documents, pay closing costs, and receive the keys to your new home.
  • Example: Closing costs typically include loan origination fees, title insurance, escrow fees, and property taxes.

Example Scenario: Jane's Home Buying Journey

Jane found her dream home in Sacramento and made an offer of $450,000, which was accepted. Here’s how her process unfolded:

  1. Earnest Money: Jane deposited $9,000 as earnest money.
  2. Escrow: Her real estate agent opened escrow with a reputable local company.
  3. Home Inspection: The inspection revealed minor roof repairs. Jane negotiated a $2,000 credit towards the repairs.
  4. Appraisal: The home appraised at $455,000, so there were no issues.
  5. Loan Approval: Jane’s lender approved her loan after a thorough review.
  6. Title Search: No issues were found, and title insurance was issued.
  7. Final Walkthrough: Jane confirmed the home was in the same condition and the repairs were done.
  8. Closing: Jane signed the documents, paid the closing costs, and received the keys to her new home.

Final Thoughts

Understanding what happens after your offer is accepted can make the home buying process smoother and less stressful. By being prepared and knowing what to expect, you can navigate the real estate market with confidence. Whether you’re buying or selling Sacramento homes, partnering with knowledgeable real estate agents can make all the difference.

At All City Homes, our experienced agents are here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to start your real estate journey.

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