Buying a Home? Offer Accepted? What Now?
Congratulations! So, your offer you made to buy your dream house has been accepted. And now what? Do you simply pay and move in? Well, there are a couple things you must ensure.
Once your offer has been accepted, the first thing is to zero in on the closing date. The list of expenses will be a long one and you must start preparing for them, which also includes consulting experts.
Next you will need to make the deal “firm.” That means that you and the seller meet all the conditions of the sale by the stated deadlines. An offer is firm when it’s a legally binding contract.
While up till this point, you will mostly have worked with your realtor, at this point, it is a lawyer who will be able to help you. A good lawyer will ensure that you don’t just settle and get all that you have bargained for.
You may or may not know one already. Great if you do. But if you don’t, your realtor may be able to give you some good referrals. Also take recommendations from friends and family to arrive at a shortlist.
hiring a lawyer will be like shopping around. Start by making phone calls to all the lawyers in the shortlist, or meet them in person if you feel the need.
What to when Closing a Deal?
Your lawyer will help get all the necessary legal information about the house you are about to buy. And that begins with a title search. It helps you view your province’s land-registry records and see if there is any potential block in closing the deal. There could be liens (claims against the property when the previous owner had unpaid debts). You will also be able to find out if there are any outstanding mortgages or zoning issues.
So, for example, if there is a mortgage on the home that you are about to buy. your lawyer will be the one to tell the seller’s lawyer to instruct the seller to pay off that mortgage. The lawyer will also ensure that there is documentary proof before the deal is closed.
Next Comes Title Insurance
As the earlier steps are accomplished. your lawyer will also ask you to get title insurance. This insurance protects you from situations that might threaten your ownership.
These situations could be many: a lien or another debt which the title search could not reveal; a survey error, like a miscalculated lot line; any adjustments in line of demarcation, like a part of your lawn turns out to be made on the neighbor’s property.
For this insurance, you pay a one-time fee as tied to the new home’s value. Also, this cost varies from province to province. The range in Vancouver for selling a house under $1million is $225; and even as much as $1,200 for selling the same value property in Toronto.
Your mortgage broker and advisor will help you here. You will also need to meet your bank to arrange your mortgage so as to smoothly transfer the funds to your lawyer’s account in order to ensure delivery to the seller on the final day. If have already been pre-approved for a mortgage, make sure that it’s still very much valid. And if you are not pre-approved, get approved.
And you better do this as early as possible as it’s a process that needs to be completed in multiple steps.
It will start from your lawyer getting the mortgage instructions from the bank. Then the lawyer will put a mortgage together. Next, you come in. You will need to sign the documents. Then your lawyer will take the documents back to the bank. Next, the bank’s underwriters go over all the documentation once again, and then convey the conditions back to your lawyer. So, evidently, it takes several days for the mortgage to come in effect.
The same mortgage lender may or may not offer you mortgage insurance. however, before you head to buy it, do consult your advisor. A mortgage protection insurance policy is a mix of critical illness insurance and term life insurance. It gives you assured protection to your family to enable them to pay off the mortgage in case anything happens to you.
Ready for Home Inspection?
Though it is best to conduct a home inspection before you make an offer, but in case you haven’t, now is a great time. Check all the important places like the furnace, the drainage, the foundation, the basement, etc. if possoble, bring along an expert who can conduct a thorough inspection of the home before you close the deal. it’s a step that you hould not miss especially the house you are buying is old or renivated.
An inspection may cost your something $400 but that is an investment. The inspector goes to the extent of using a mirror mounted on a selfie stick to peep into nook and corners like under the furnace’s heat exchanger.
What’s it like on the closing day?
First things first, change all the locks because you don’t know all have the keys besides the owner. you might also want to replace the furnace filter.
And here’s a tip that’s very commonsensical. Meet the neighbors. Why? One, not only will it be easier for you to become a part of the community, but also you are very likely to get referrals for gardners, plumbers, local stores, etc.