May 14, 2021 at 7:41am | Melanie Wood

I have an accepted contract on a new home, now what?

Congratulations on having an accepted contract on a house, but now what? Often contract terms are accepted verbally or by email by the seller through their agent and your agent first while signatures are gathered from the sellers this is not legally binding in Maryland.  It can take 1 – 2 days for all parties to sign and return the contract.  Until we have an executed contract (which means everything has been signed and initialed by both the sellers and the buyers) we do not have an enforceable contract.  Therefore, it’s pressing that a signed contract be received by all parties as soon as possible. Once a signed contract is received, several things need to happen: 1. The contract needs to be sent to your title company and the Coldwell Banker Attorneys so the review can begin. As your Realtor, we’ll take care of this for you.  Once your title company receives the contract he or she will begin the title process. This involves looking over the contract and title process. Expect to hear from us with our attorney within 1 – 2 days with any documents they need you to sign or changes to the contract they want you to look over.  Always respond to us as quickly as possible to keep the process moving forward.   
2. The contract needs to be sent to your mortgage lender.  Again, as your Realtor, we’ll take care of this.  This lets your mortgage lender know that you’re under contract and starts the process for getting you approved for the mortgage (remember, right now you’re only pre-approved). Be sure to respond promptly to your mortgage lender.  They will ask you to fill out a lot of paperwork. Some mortgage lenders joke it’s like getting a financial colonoscopy.  Unfortunately, it’s not optional; it’s required and the quicker you can fill it out and get it back to them, the better.    Also, we need you to read this quick two-page document regarding the mortgage process 
3. You need to schedule the home inspection. Click here for my list of recommended home inspectors. This needs to be done ASAP.   
4. You need to write and drop off the first earnest money check.  Typically the earnest money check is made out to the Title Company and is either in the form of a personal check or a certified check (we’ll let you know which one you need).  Usually, it is dropped off to us the same day as the offer then we deliver to the Title Company within 1-2 business days of contract acceptance. Click here to read more about the earnest money check.    
After the above items have been done, we’ll email you every few days with an additional next step.  Think of it as our friendly way of giving you homework to ensure a smooth transaction and to help you make sure everything gets done on time. 
Questions? Call me at 410-936-5729 or email me at


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