Homebuyer Guide Step 7: What Happens After You Have a Contract?

Here’s what happens after you have a contract for a home purchase.

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Today we’ll be going over the seventh step in our Homebuyer Guide, which is all about what happens after you have a contract.

First of all, congratulations! The seller has agreed to sell you their home, and a contract for the sale has been created. Every agent is different, but on our team, we’ll promptly send the buyer an email that outlines what needs to be done and when. In quick succession, we’ll need to submit the earnest money deposit—this is a show of good faith that demonstrates you’re making a serious offer. 

If you break the contract for any reason that isn’t permitted by the contract, then you’ll forfeit the earnest money. This sounds scary, but we’ve never lost a client’s earnest money before; it’s more of a formality than anything, but it does give the seller some assurance. The deposit is usually around 1% of the purchase price.

After these steps are taken, it’s time to take a break and wait for things to be processed.

Next, we schedule and conduct the home inspection. In Illinois, you need a certified, licensed inspector, and the buyer pays them upfront. We’ll cover the inspection process more in a future video, but after the inspection is done, you’ll apply for your loan. You've probably been pre-approved already, but now it's time to formally apply for your mortgage. Your lender will request a bunch of paperwork, run your credit, and have you fill out forms to create your formal application. Again, this sounds scarier than it actually is. After these steps are taken, it’s time to take a break and wait for things to be processed.

If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to reach out to me. Until then, stay tuned for the next episode of the Homebuyer Guide.

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