Hilton Head Real Estate Contract Being Excepted

The clock starts ticking once your contract is accepted. Under specific deadlines you must have the home appraised and inspected and the seller must complete any necessary repairs. You'll be looking at the seller's disclosure statements, you'll be giving approvals to such things as the seller's disclosures, and you'll be attempting to get funding for your mortgage. This whole process is sometimes called 'closing escrow.'

Be aware that if you change your mind and want to back out of the deal after your contract offer has been accepted and signed by the seller, you stand the chance of losing your deposit and you could even be liable for damages for failing to live up to your contract. Likewise, if the seller backs out, you can sue for damages or try to enforce the contract terms.

Be ready for minor problems and delays; they are almost inevitable. On the seller's side, title problems are a common cause of postponed settlements. On your side, bureaucratic snags such as income verification can slow things down.

Should you run into problems that prevent you from being ready to close, have your realtor contact the seller immediately and work out an extension. You shouldn't be penalized if the problem is one you couldn't have anticipated.

While you're waiting for completion of all the processes now in motion, you should do the following:

Decide how you want to take title to the house:  Decide between stating your name alone, joint ownership with a spouse, or through a limited partnership.

Apply for homeowners insurance.

Get an exact accounting of settlement costs:  Make sure the money and necessary documents will be there at closing.

Select a date for the walk-through of the house.  You may wish to have a walk-through two weeks or so before you intend to close if you expect work will need to be done by the owner. A final inspection can be made just prior to settlement.

Contact the utility companies about establishing service in your name.  Arrange for electricity, gas, and water to be turned on in your name on the day of settlement so that there will be no interruption in service. Make these arrangements a few weeks in advance, since utility companies may require deposits, credit checks, and advance notice.

Make a Home-Buying File.  Organize all the documents associated with the transaction in one place. Your home-buying file should include the purchase agreement, the title, loan records, closing data, inspection reports, insurance forms, and tax records. This small step can save big headaches at tax time or the day you re-finance or sell your home.

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