Under Contract Next Steps (Buyer)

Under Contract Next Steps (Buyer)

Congratulations! Winning a home in a competitive market is a remarkable feat that you should be proud and excited about! Now that you’re under contract, I’m sure you are wondering what your next steps are. I have laid out a step-by-step guide that will help you navigate the weeks ahead leading to your closing. Remember that in North Carolina only an attorney can perform closings, not a title company. So without further ado, let’s walk through it together.

Step 1 – Write Out Deposit Checks

First and foremost you must write out the due diligence and earnest money checks. The due diligence check is made out directly to the seller, and the earnest money check is made out to the escrow agent (most typically the attorney). The due diligence must be delivered to the seller within 24 hours of contract acceptance. The earnest money check should be delivered as soon as possible (up to 5 days from contract acceptance).

(Learn more about North Carolina’s due diligence and earnest money deposits here.)

Step 2 – Notify Attorney & Lender

Next we must notify the lender and attorney by sending the fully executed contract. They will also need a signed copy of the deposit money receipts. Typically the buyer agent team takes care of this communication.

Step 3 – Schedule Inspection, Appraisal and Survey

Within the first 5 days of going under contract, the inspection, appraisal and survey should be scheduled. As the buyer agent, I will provide several different inspectors to choose from or you can choose someone entirely different. I will also assist in scheduling the inspections. The lender will schedule the appraisal. The attorney will schedule the survey.

(Learn more about appraisals with this article from Atlantic Bay Mortgage.)

Step 4 – Shop For Homeowner’s Insurance

It is very important that you secure homeowner’s insurance early in the process (within 7-10 days of going under contract). Both the lender and attorney will need to know some details about the policy. Keep in mind that you do not need to pay for the policy until closing.

Step 5 – Schedule Movers

Movers book up quickly, so better to schedule this early in the process! Trust me… don’t wait on this step!!

Step 6 – Complete The Repair Request Form

Once the inspection report(s) are back, we will review them together and come up with the repair request list. I will then complete the form to send to the sellers for their review. The sellers will then notify us of what repairs they will make, negotiate, etc. Remember, when you buy a house in North Carolina, it is not mandatory that a seller make any repairs. Some will make repairs or give a credit towards them, but please keep in mind that repairs are a negotiation and not an obligation.

Step 7 – Ensure The Lender And Underwriter Have All Documents Needed In A Timely Fashion

Please stay in close contact with the lender to ensure they get all of the documents needed to process the loan. As your agent, I will continue to email them along the way to ensure the process is moving along smoothly and that the loan will close on time.

Step 8 – Do NOT Make Any Large Purchase Until After The Home Has Closed

Please wait until closing to make any large purchases, such as appliances, furniture, etc. This could affect your loan and thus your ability to close on your new home.

Step 9 – Please Do NOT Change Jobs Until After The Home Has Closed

Of course, this is a tricky one, but if you think you may be changing jobs while under contract, please let your lender know right away. None of us know for certain what will happen from one day to another, but please keep me and the lender in the loop as soon as you can if anything changes with your job status.


There you have it! The 9 successful steps to closing on your new home! Feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have.

Happy Home Buying & Selling In North Carolina!

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