Congratulations on having an accepted contract on a house, but now what? Often contracts are accepted verbally by the seller’s agent first while signatures are gathered from the sellers.  It can take 1 – 2 days for all parties to sign and return the contract so be patient.  Until we have an executed contract (which means everything has been signed by both the sellers and the buyers) we do not have an enforceable contract.  Therefore, it’s urgent that a signed contract be received by all parties asap.  Once a signed contract is received, several things need to happen:

  1. The contract needs to be sent to your lawyer so the attorney review can beginIf we are your Realtors, we’ll take care of this for you.  Once your attorney receives the contract he or she will begin the attorney review process. This involves looking over the contract and negotiating changes he or she wants to made. Expect to hear from your attorney within 1 – 2 days with any documents they need you to sign or changes to the contract they want you to look over.  Always respond to your attorney as quickly as possible to keep the process moving forward.  
  2. The contract needs to be sent to your mortgage lender.  Again, if we are your Realtors, we’ll take care of this.  This lets your mortgage lender know that you’re under contract and starts the process for getting you approved for the mortgage (remember, right now you’re only pre-approved). Be sure to respond promptly to your mortgage lender.  They will ask you to fill out a lot of paperwork. Some mortgage lenders joke it’s like getting a financial colonoscopy.  Unfortunately, it’s not optional; it’s required and the quicker you can fill it out and get it back to them, the better.    Also, we need you to read this quick two page document regarding the mortgage process
  3. You need to schedule the home inspection. Click here for my list of recommend home inspectors. This needs to be done asap.  
  4. You need to write and drop off the first earnest money check.  Typically the earnest money check is made out to the seller’s agent’s brokerage and is either in the form of a personal check or a certified check (we’ll let you know which one you need).  Usually it is dropped off at the seller’s agent’s office with 1 business day of contract acceptance. When you drop it off make sure you ask for a receipt. Hold on to the receipt and bring it with you to closing.  Click here to read more about the earnest money check

After the above items have been done, we’ll email you every few days with an additional next step.  Think of it as our friendly way of giving you homework to ensure a smooth transaction and to help you make sure everything gets done on time.

Questions? Call us at 312-600-7510 or email me at shay(at)buyselllovechicago(dot)com.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.