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You’ve gone through all the hoops and finally have a contract. You looked at all those homes, checked off a bunch of lists, and now you’ve found the home you’ve always wanted. There are just a few things left to do to get from having an accepted offer to getting keys to the home.

Earnest money

You have 2-3 days to get the earnest money in after a mutually accepted offer. We recommend 1-3%, so if that money is an account that takes a little time to access, like a 401K, you need to get it moved as soon as possible.

Start escrow

The next thing you will do is get escrow opened. Your real estate agent will help you do that. Escrow is a mutual third party that will work with the listing agent, the buying agent, the bank, they buyer, the seller, all the entities that have a stake in the sale. They bring all the parties together


Again, your real estate agent should assist you with the inspection phase. They will have a few inspectors they work with that are local and reputable. You want to do the inspection within the first few days of the contract being opened. Sometimes there is a requirement to get it completed within 10 days, but this varies, and it may be shorter.

Appraisal phase

The appraisal phase follows and will be ordered by the buyer’s bank. They want to make sure the home is worth the amount it is being purchased for. They want to ensure the value is there, the home is the collateral against the money they are loaning, they need to protect their investment. Appraisals usually costs between 600-900 dollars.

The signing

During the signing, you will usually go to the escrow office or your realtor’s office to sign a lot of loan documents. You won’t own the home after signing, but you are getting closer and it is an exciting time. The signing typically occurs a couple days before the closing date.

The walk through

After the signing you will do a final walk through. Understand that you’ve still got some leverage before the actual closing. You want to make sure it is still in good condition and it is being turned over in clean state. This is the last time to make sure everything is taken care of.

Get the keys

The day is finally here, and you can get the keys. Congratulations on purchasing your new home!

At the Novak Team, this is one of the many processes we discuss with our clients prior to even looking for a home. One of the first things we do is develop a home buying timeline for our clients.   Buying and selling a home can be stressful and knowing the process in detail ahead of time can alleviate some anxiety, resulting in a seamless transaction.

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