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Dec 26 2017 51669 1
Yes! We've spent a few hours going through homes, crossing off the "No's" and doubling back through the "Maybe's". You've decided on the house you want and our offer has been submitted and accepted! This is awesome news - most especially for first-time home buyers - but even seasoned home owners get that thrill when they've gone through the process and their agent has led them to a successful agreement with a seller.
But what's next?
There are so many "behind-the-scenes" parts of a real estate transaction that sometimes even the best agents can forget to tell you what to expect during that 30-60 day journey to the signing table. They just take care of these things for you and only let you know when they need a question answered or - gasp! - trouble is looming on the horizon.
To keep you informed, your agent should (ideally) give you a written checklist or - at the very least - explain to you what you should expect to encounter during the real estate transaction. For example, after your offer is accepted, you will need to schedule an inspection. Typically, you will have 10 days to have this done though it depends on what you agreed upon with the sellers. Now, if your agent hasn't explained to you that you can test for Radon (they should give you a booklet explaining what Radon is) then you won't know that this is a test that takes 48 hours and that not every inspector is qualified to administer the test. Imagine you waited until day 8 to call the inspectors on the list your agent (hopefully) gave you. Now, imagine one of them could actually get you in before the 10 day inspection period expired (you would need some luck here) but when you met him/her at the property on day 9 they informed you that they weren't qualified to do a Radon inspection! If you really wanted this done, you now have no time to do it. You could hope the sellers were amicable enough to allow you a grace period for the inspection or - and this is most likely, as sellers just want to keep things moving - you would have to resign yourself to the fact that any radon inspection, or installation of a mitigation system resulting from a high radon test, would be on you. This is a $1200-$1500 expense, testing not included. Had you known about this in enough time, you could have maybe negotiated a radon mitigation system with the sellers, either partially or in full.
Bottom line? Ask questions when you first meet with your agent. Find out what steps you will have to take and write them down, if your agent hasn't already provided you with some sort of buying timeline. You will be glad you've done your homework and that journey to the closing table will be so much smoother because you know the stops you have to make along the way.
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