Buying a Home With Glass House


Congrats! You are "ratified" - this means your offer was accepted and you are now under contract. Here's what you need to know...
Can I switch my lender after going under contract?

There is generally no language explicitly preventing the buyer from changing things up. There is usually no risk or consequence for the buyer to find new financing — as long as they can get financing within the timeframe specified by the contract. Most contracts do specify that buyers have a specific time period within which they have to get financing and perform.

How do I schedule inspections?

You will need to contact a local Home Inspector to schedule your inspection prior to your inspection deadline. Here is a list of our preferred vendors for your reference - but you are welcome to use any company you'd like! 

If you are unclear on which inspections to schedule, let our Transaction Manager know and they will clarify what is stated in your contract. Typically you will need to schedule a home inspection, termite and radon. Here is a helpful article on the inspection process.

What is the home inspection process?
  1. Get a home inspector referral as soon as possible; we recommend these companies but you are free to choose whomever you like.
  2. Good home inspectors are busy; it’s important to book one quickly.
  3. Inspections generally range from one to four hours depending on the inspection and size of the home. Buyers and their agent typically attend the home inspection.
  4. Make sure the home inspection report is available prior to the home inspection contingency due date.
  5. You and your agent will review the home inspection report. You will work together to prioritize concerns, discuss negotiating strategy, and prepare a list of requested repairs and/or a credit amount and create a "Home Inspection Contingency Removal Addendum. See sample.
  6. This is a negotiation. The seller may agree to make the repair(s) or issue a credit. The seller may also elect to make some, or no, repairs. There will be a negotiation, between the buyer and seller, regarding these requests that will take place for a specified period of time as agreed to in the sales contract.
  7. Once the buyer and seller agree, the inspection contingency of the contract can be removed by executing a home inspection addendum to the contract.
  8. If the seller elects to make some or all of the requested repairs, the buyer will have the opportunity to confirm the corrective work before closing. Sellers are generally required to provide, to the buyers, receipts and invoices, from companies licensed to do the type of work requested, for the repairs.
  9. If the buyer and seller don’t reach an agreement, the buyer has the option of voiding the contract prior to the specified deadline as agreed to in the sales contract.
Do I need home owners insurance?

You will need a homeowner’s insurance policy in place before settlement, it is a good idea to start looking around now. Obtaining homeowner’s insurance is typically a requirement of the lender in order to secure financing.

Aaron Mormann with State Farm is my insurance agent and he is great. You can find his info here

More information about Homeowners insurance

What is the appraisal process?

Your lender will coordinate the appraisal appointment. If you have an appraisal contingency, once we receive the report we will work with you to negotiate depending on the outcome. You will receive the appraisal report from your lender and we suggest saving it for your records. 

How do I determine how much my closing costs are going to be ?

Closing costs are fees associated with your home purchase that are paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. Closing is the point in time when the title of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Closing costs are incurred by either the buyer or seller.

Closing costs vary widely based on where you live, the property you buy, and the type of loan you choose. Here is a list of fees that may be included in closing.  The list is inclusive of fees you may see, but it’s not likely that your loan will include all of the fees listed here.

  • Application Fee: This fee covers the cost for the lender to process your application. Before submitting an application, ask your lender what this fee covers. It can often include things like a credit check for your credit score or appraisal as well. Not all lenders charge an application fee, and it can often be negotiated.
  • Appraisal: This is paid to the appraisal company to confirm the fair market value of the home.
  • Attorney Fee: This pays for an attorney to review the closing documents on behalf of the buyer or the lender. This is not required in all states.
  • Closing Fee or Escrow Fee: This is paid to the title company, escrow company or attorney for conducting the closing. The title company or escrow oversees the closing as an independent party in your home purchase. Some states require a real estate attorney be present at every closing.
  • Credit Report: A Tri-merge credit report is pulled to get your credit history and score. Your credit score plays a big role in determining the interest rate you will get on your loan.
  • Escrow Deposit for Property Taxes & Mortgage Insurance: Often you are asked to put down two months of property tax and mortgage insurance payments at closing.
  • FHA Up-Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UPMIP): If you have an FHA loan, you’ll be required to pay the UPMIP of 1.75% of the base loan amount. You are also able to roll this into the cost of the loan if you prefer.
  • Homeowners’ Insurance: This covers possible damages to your home. Your first year’s insurance is often paid at closing.
  • Lender’s Policy Title Insurance: This is insurance to assure the lender that you own the home and the lender’s mortgage is a valid lien, and it protects the lender if there is a problem with the title. Similar to the title search, but always a separate line item.
  • Owner’s Policy Title Insurance: This is an insurance policy that protects you in the event someone challenges your ownership of the home. It is usually optional.
  • Origination Fee: This covers the lender’s administrative costs. It’s usually about 1 percent of the total loan but you can sometimes find mortgages with no origination fee.
  • Pest Inspection: This fee covers the cost to inspect for termites or dry rot, which is required in some states and required for government loans.  Repairs can get expensive if evidence of termites, dry rot or other wood damage is found.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If you’re making a down payment that’s less than 20% of the home’s purchase price, chances are you’ll be required to pay PMI. If so, you may need to pay the first month’s PMI payment at closing.
  • Property Tax: Typically, lenders will want any taxes due within 60 days of purchase by the loan servicer to be paid at closing.
  • Recording Fees: A fee charged by your local recording office, usually city or county, for the recording of public land records.
  • Survey Fee: This fee goes to a survey company to verify all property lines and things like shared fences on the property.  This is not required in all states.
  • Transfer Taxes: This is the tax paid when the title passes from seller to buyer.
  • Courier : Any fees paid to third parties to deliver packages or paperwork, including the cost of certified or registered mail, will be included in your closing costs. These fees are usually very minor, but it will depend on how much special handling is required during the closing process.
  •  Title search: This is performed by a title company to determine if there are any unrecorded liens against the property
  • Underwriting Fee: This also goes to your lender, covering the cost of researching whether or not to approve you for the loan.
  • VA Funding Fee: If you have a VA loan, you may be required to pay a VA funding fee at closing (or you can roll this fee into the cost of the loan if you prefer). This is a percentage of the loan amount that the VA assesses to fund the VA home loan program, however some borrowers are exempt from this fee. The percentage depends on your type of service and the amount of your down payment. 


What is a post settlement occupancy?

A post settlement occupancy agreement allows a seller to continue to live in his home after settlement, under an arrangement where the seller is essentially renting the home back from the new purchaser.

This type of arrangement can be a life-saver for a seller who is purchasing another home but won’t be able to close on that purchase until a few days or weeks after he sells his current home. 

One thing a  buyer should do before agreeing to allow the seller to rent back after closing is to check with his lender to see whether the lender will permit it.
Typically lenders will allow a short rent back. For anything longer, the buyer could be in violation of the covenant in the loan documents that states that the property will be owner-occupied.

Settlement & Closing

All parties on the contract must attend the settlement in person. If any of the parties are unable to attend, please let your Transaction Manager know as soon as possible.

  • Please be prepared to send your "Funds for Closing" between 1 and 2 business days prior to settlement to the title company. The most common way to send is a wire using the title company's wire instructions, please confirm directly with the title company for those instructions or other ways of providing your Funds for Closing. You will get the final Funds for Closing total from your lender.

  • You can expect to be at settlement for approximately one hour to sign all of the settlement papers. 


  • AN IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING COVID19: Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, Khalil might not be able to attend settlement in person with you, as the title company is taking steps to minimize the number of people in close contact with one another while still completing settlement. Every title company has their own policy regarding those that can attend, please reach out to them if you have any questions.
What is the Final Walk Through?

We recommend scheduling your walk through the night before or the day of settlement. Our Transaction Manager will help coordinate both the settlement and walk through dates. 

At the Final Walkthrough you and your agent will go through the home one last time to make sure the home is in the condition you agreed to buy (since date of contract acceptance). This is not a secondary home inspection- it is to ensure everything is in working order before you take possession at settlement. You can expect to be there approximately 20-45 minutes (depending on the size of your new home).

How do I transfer my Earnest Money Deposit?

Deposit your earnest money with the Title Officer within  5 days  of the date of contract acceptance/ratification date. The best option is to either drop it off in person, mail it to them, or call the office directly for wiring instructions.

Please make sure you write the address of your new home and “EMD” in the memo portion of the check to be sure it is credited correctly in the escrow account. For more information on the Earnest Money Deposit read this blog article.

Home Inspection FAQS

A deeper dive into the frequently asked questions regarding the home inspection process, report and repair requests. 

What kind of things should I expect repaired, or credited in lieu of repair?

Generally if something is broken or defective, safety related, or not working efficiently/properly the buyer and their agent should seek a remedy. A few examples include:

· Smoke, carbon monoxide, and radon systems (if radon fails inspection)

· Broken appliances

· Leaks of any kind

· Electrical faults, hot panels, and incorrect wiring

· Broken or missing door and window locks

· Faulty garage door sensors


Can I make sellers correct the identified deficiencies? Or give me a credit?

This is a negotiation. A buyer can ask for any repair. The seller can agree to make or not make the repair(s) or offer a credit which effectively reduces the cost of the home. The seller can also make no repairs and offer no credit.

What if something is old or near the end of its life?

Simply being old is not justification for a credit or repair. It is not uncommon for older systems (HVAC, Roof, etc) to be in perfectly normal working order. However, if there is evidence of defects, inefficiencies, or ongoing repairs it is reasonable to seek a cure. A few examples include:

· Rust inside of an HVAC system

· Active or recent roof leaks

· Windows that won’t open and close

· Appliances with broken components

Will my inspector catch everything?

Even the best inspectors can’t inspect what they can’t see. The best advice we can offer is to hire a trusted inspector.

During a routine home inspection, the technician will look at the most accessible parts of the chimney including the overall structure, fireplace, and damper. However, they simply can’t see the entire interior without specialized equipment. It is common practice for the home inspector to recommend a Level 2 chimney inspection which uses video to inspect the internal area of the chimney not visible otherwise.

What if my inspector suggests further inspection?

A home inspector is like a detective; they systematically inspect a home for explicit defects. During the process they may see signs of possible issues for which they are unable to conclusively determine if there is a defect or not. Should this happen, the inspector may suggest an additional, specific inspection. One example where this often happens is with chimneys.

How do I determine the cost of a repair (or the value of a credit)?

We will work closely with you to estimate the cost/value of repairs. For specialized or less common repairs, we will suggest asking an expert within that particular field for an estimate.

Can I cancel the contract if I have an issue with the home inspection?

We generally recommend to buyers that we should first seek a remedy to home inspection. On occasion, that isn’t possible. Ultimately, the buyer has the option of voiding the contract prior to the specified deadline as agreed to in the sales contract and would be owed the Earnest Money Deposit.

Please reach out with any questions and know that we will work together through this process.

What is a radon test?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay (breaking down) of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found in different amounts in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air and into underground water and surface water.


The EPA recommends that all houses, regardless of what radon zone the house is located in, be tested for radon during point of sale. The most common procedure for radon testing during real estate transactions is for the potential buyer to request the radon test as part of the overall home inspection. The radon test is generally a separate service and must be requested. If the radon test is 4 pCi/L or greater, the EPA recommends the potential buyer negotiate with the seller to have a radon mitigation system installed with the stated goal of bringing the radon level in the home below 4 pCi/L.

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