This is a buyer checklist on what to do after you have reached mutual acceptance with the seller. In other words, once you have a fully signed agreement and you and the seller have agreed on the price and all terms and signed and initialed the purchase and sale agreement (PSA) and all the relevant addendums for your transaction, what happens next? This is the buyer checklist I share with my buyers as a Sequim Buyer’s Agent.

Buyer Checklist

Buyer Checklist

After you have mutual acceptance:

  1. The countdown for all deadlines starts the day after you have mutual acceptance. So the day after is day 1.
  2. As your buyer’s agent I deliver a fully signed copy of the agreement to the designated escrow company the day of (if it isn’t too late) or the next morning.
  3. The escrow company opens a file and gives a copy of the agreement to their title plant. The title plant or the title company begins a comprehensive search of all records, liens, judgments, and encumbrances that effect the property.
  4. Once the escrow company has opened their file, you as the buyer need to deposit the earnest money with the escrow company right away. State law requires the deposit to be made within 3 business days, but I like to say that the deposit should be made without delay. You can deliver a check to the escrow company, but for most of my out-of-town buyers, it is more efficient to simply wire the earnest money into the escrow company’s trust account. When I email the title company your PSA, I ask them in that email to email you and give you wiring instructions, unless you are local, in which case you can hand deliver the check to them.
  5. If you’re getting a loan, you should immediately email a copy of the full agreement to your mortgage broker or loan officer. This is important, because the loan process is the longest process taking up to 30 days or 45 days for a VA loan. Your mortgage broker has to bring in other parties at his end, like a loan processor, an appraiser through an appraisal management company, and a loan underwriter.
  6. The next step that should be done right away is to call a home inspector and schedule the home inspection. You can do this yourself, or you can delegate this to me. I can refer you to a home inspector if you don’t know one, and for your information I never receive any referral fee or any benefit from any home inspectors. There are several good ones, but I can give you two right here who always do very thorough inspections and clients love them. One is Tyler Zimmel, and the other is Chuck Bishop. You can find both of them and their emails and phone numbers on a Google search. The cost of a home inspection is $350 to $400.
  7. The seller will be obligated under the standard terms of our agreements to order the septic inspection report at the seller’s expense. The seller will usually pay $150 to $250 for this inspection. This item is not so much a part of the buyer checklist, but it’s good to know who does what.
  8. If the property is on a municipal water system, you don’t have to worry about ordering a private well inspection, but if the property does have a private well, you have the option of ordering a water flow test and a water quality test for bacteria and nitrates. That inspection would be at your expense, and you can either order it yourself, or you can delegate it to me. Brother’s Plumbing and Integrity Pumps both do great work. The cost of this inspection is usually less than $250.

Buyer Checklist Additions

There are other addendum that we use, depending on the transaction. There’s a Title Addendum, a Feasibility Addendum, and at least 80 more legal addendum that we have in our documents inventory. It’s critical that your buyer’s agent knows exactly which addendum you will need for your own protection. I’m thankful I was a real estate attorney for 20 years, because this gives my buyers a huge advantage.

Depending how each inspection goes, there will be inspection responses we need to put in writing, and there may be sub-inspections we add to the buyer checklist that need to be ordered if a red flag is triggered. But you don’t have to have all this figured out in advance. This is one of the reasons you hire an experienced buyer’s agent.

Of course, part of what I do is answer my clients’ questions along the way, help them with the inspections, attend inspections they cannot attend on their behalf, and advise them at each step. I hope this little buyer checklist is helpful to you.

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