Contract Accepted – now what?

Navigating the current competitive real estate market in Northern Virginia requires a strategic approach, especially as multiple offers and waived contingencies become the standard for updated homes in sought-after locations.

Yet, successfully having your offer accepted is just the beginning of the journey. Post-acceptance, a myriad of dates, steps, and contingencies must be carefully managed to ensure a smooth closing and the keys to your new home.

While each transaction is unique, the following list encapsulates the typical contingencies associated with purchases made using the NVAR contract:

Contract Ratification Date: The pivotal date from which all timelines originate, marking the formal acceptance of your offer and initiating the steps leading to closing/settlement.

Deposit the Earnest Money Deposit (EMD): Within 2-5 days of ratification, ensure funds are available for the EMD, a key component deposited into an escrow account, usually amounting to 1-3% of the purchase price.

Apply with Lender: Select and apply with a lender within 7 days of ratification, obtaining Good Faith Estimates and addressing insurance requirements.

Check Availability of Insurance: Confirm home insurability within 7 days, considering insurance rates and potential restrictions.

Floodplain or Resource Protect Area Verification: Within 7 days, verify if the property is in a floodplain or Resource Protect Area, crucial for insurance purposes.

Home and Radon Inspections: Typically done within 10 days of ratification, schedule inspections to uncover potential issues and ensure a thorough understanding of the property’s condition.

Follow-Up/Additional Inspections – If Needed: Within 10 days of ratification, arrange further inspections based on initial findings, bringing in specialists as required.

Order Closing, Title Work, and Survey: Initiate closing-related processes within 10 days of ratification, securing title insurance and potentially ordering a survey.

Review Resale Documents: 0-14 days after ratification, examine resale documents thoroughly if the property is part of an HOA or condominium.

Appraisal Contingency: Typically within 3 weeks after ratification, await the lender’s appraisal results and address any disparities in value.

Termite Inspection Contingency: Conduct a termite inspection 1-2 weeks before closing, with the seller responsible for treatment and repairs if needed.

Check Up On Financing: Throughout the process, stay updated on financing progress and secure a clear-to-close.

Schedule Utility Switchover: Seven days before closing, coordinate the switch of utilities for a seamless transition.

Check Up on the Draft Closing Statement: 1-5 days before closing, review the Closing Statement detailing financial transactions and ensure accurate fund transfers.

Final Walkthrough: 1-3 days before closing, conduct a final walkthrough to verify the home’s condition and ensure promised repairs are completed.

Go to Settlement (Closing Date): Bring identification and a checkbook to the settlement, where you’ll sign loan documents and receive the keys to your new home.

Congratulations on your new home! Rest assured, we’ll guide you through every step of this intricate process. Note that every contract is unique, and consulting an attorney is recommended before making any decisions based on this information.

Disclaimer: We are real estate brokers/agents only. Every contract is different – please consult an attorney before taking any actions based on this article. 

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About The Author
Are Andresen

Are Andresen is the principal broker owner of Soldsense Realty LLC. He is also an experienced property investor and help clients find and manage properties in Northern Virginia.