What happens when my real estate offer is accepted? [Video]

December 5, 2018 - 2 min read

The seller accepted your offer. Now what?

There’s nothing more exciting — and potentially stressful — than when your offer to buy a home is finally accepted.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What happens now?” And for good reason. Unless you’re a seasoned home buyer, this is brand new territory.

This is really when you get to work as a buyer.

You’re going to submit your earnest money, which is a deposit showing that you are serious about buying the home.

But, even at this point, you haven’t fully committed to buying the home.

You still need to make sure the bank will lend on it. So you will submit the purchase contract to your lender, which will in turn order an official appraisal on the property.

You’ll also likely submit updated paperwork, since the initial documents you submitted to the lender for the pre-approval may be outdated.

Additionally, you’ll order a home inspection to make sure there aren’t any serious issues you can’t see with the naked eye.

Start your home search by requesting a pre-approval here.

You’ll clear “contingencies”

Contingencies are conditions under which you agree to buy the home.

When your offer is accepted by the seller, you’ll get to work clearing these.

Some common contingencies are as follows

  • The home appraises for the purchase price or higher
  • Your lender approves the condition of the home, or repairs are made to make the house eligible for financing
  • The home inspection reveals no major issues
  • The title company can verify the seller actually owns the property and has the right to sell it.

Most contingencies will be cleared easily. Others require a back-and-forth between buyer and seller, such as which items from the inspection the seller will fix before closing.

The waiting game

When you’ve done your part, then you wait. The lender will take 30-45 days to move your loan through the system, although some lenders are faster.

Long waits, followed by frenzies of activity, are common. That’s because you’re “in line” with hundreds of other buyers — at the lender, title, escrow companies. There’s a lot of waiting, then scrambling to submit documentation when it’s your turn.

All this is normal, and you can only do so much as a buyer to be proactive.

Still, keep in close contact with your real estate agent and lender. They will know what comes next in the process and whether there’s anything you can do to move things along.

How do I get approved to make an offer on a house?

Of course, the first step to getting an accepted offer on a house is to make an offer.

To do that, you’ll need a pre-approval. This piece of paper shows you’re serious about home buying.

Get a pre-approval — often in a matter of hours — by connecting with our pre-screened lenders, some of the best in the industry.

Start your mortgage pre-approval request here.

Check out our first article in this series: “What’s the first step to buying a home?”

Time to make a move? Let us find the right mortgage for you

Tim Lucas
Authored By: Tim Lucas
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Tim Lucas spent 11 years in the mortgage industry before moving into the world of digital media. He's helped thousands of families buy and refinance real estate at banks and mortgage companies and now continues that mission through industry-leading content. Tim has been featured in national publications such as Time, U.S. News and World Report, MSN, Scotsman Guide, and more.