Once your offer is accepted, the Agreement of Sale (AOS) is signed by all parties making it a Fully Executed Contract. The date that the last person signed it is the Execution Date. The AOS includes various things the buyers and sellers need to do before closing. There are specific dates by which these things must be completed, keeping everyone on track and moving forward without delays. The dates are a defined by a certain number of days from the Execution Date.
Below is a list of tasks which typically must be completed. Your AOS may require other tasks as well.
The home inspection, if you elected to have one, is one of the first things you will need to address. Usually there is only 10-20 days from the execution date to get this done. Check your AOS for your specific time frame. Since an inspector may not be available immediately, it is important to begin calling to schedule the appointment as soon as you have a Fully Executed Contract. Check the Directory of Services for names and contact information for inspectors in your area. Remember to let your agent know when the inspection is scheduled, as arrangements may need to be made with the owner to ensure power and water are on and to allow access to the home. If you are purchasing a foreclosure or short sale, it may be your responsibility and your expense to get the utilities turned on. There may also be certain restrictions around turning on the water, for example, so make sure you check with your agent before scheduling any services.
Not all inspectors charge the same rate, nor do they all inspect the same things. Make sure you ask what the price includes, as there may be additional charges for certain things. Also, your lender may require certain inspections, especially if you are getting a VA or FHA loan. Check with them before you schedule your inspection to make sure it includes all loan requirements.
You may have also elected to have a pest inspection to check for things like ants, termites, beetles etc. If you decide to have one done, you may need to contact a pest inspector separately as this is not typically included in the home inspection. This inspection will also need to be done within the time frame indicated in your AOS.
You may want to be present when the inspection is being done. It will give you the opportunity to see what is wrong and to ask questions.
Reply to Inspection
If your offer was contingent upon inspections, following your review of the inspection report, you can accept the home as is, or go the seller with the item or items you wish to be addressed. Once again this is a time to negotiate. Working on your behalf your agent will present your request to the seller. And once again the sellers may accept your request as is, or they may counter. It is not unusual for the seller to agree to do some of the things but not all.
If a second deposit is required, the date and amount are clearly stated in the AOS. It is important that you give this deposit to your agent to deliver to the party holding your escrow money by the date required. Usually a certified check or money order is required.
If you are purchasing a home in a community with an HOA, the seller is required to provides you with what is known as a resale packet. This is a packet containing information about the community, its by laws, rules and regulations etc. Once you receive this, you will need to sign a document stating such.