Buyer Resources

Keeping Your Hilton Head Home Purchase On Track



No matter how quickly you found your Hilton Head home or how fast the offer was accepted, your home purchase isn’t complete until you make it to closing.

Anywhere along the way your transaction can fall apart. You need to keep it on track and be proactive in doing so.

Be truthful On the Application. It may be tempting to make your financial situation look better than it is, but the lender does their own research. They’ll find out that you don’t make as much as you say you did or that you have a higher debt ratio than you reported. This can get your loan denied immediately, killing any chance of getting your Hilton Head home. Not only is it ill advised to lie on your application, it’s illegal.

Don’t Give Into the Buying Bug. While you’re in the process of buying and closing your home, you have to resist the temptation to splurge on new furnishings or décor for your home or to buy that car you always wanted. You don’t want any of your credit circumstances to change and running up your credit cards and taking out new loans can kill your credit score and increase your debt ratio. Wait until you’re in your house to make any major purchases.

Keep Your Job. Even if you hate your job, don’t quit or move to another job. Employment stability is a big factor in getting a loan and making it all the way to closing. And whatever you do, don’t go into business for yourself. Even if you will be quitting your job and moving to Hilton Head Island, you still need to keep the job you have until all the final papers are signed. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Otherwise, you could just end up unemployed in the town you live in now with no hope of getting a home in Hilton Head Island or Bluffton.

Meet Your Obligations. The terms of your contract aren’t negotiable. If you’re supposed to secure funding in ‘X’ number of days, don’t wait until the last minute. If you are required to have a home inspection within 10 days, call the inspector immediately. And if you are required to deposit additional funds in escrow on a certain date, make sure the money is in there. Dropping the ball can cause the whole deal to come crashing down.

Deadlines Are Not Negotiable. During the closing period you need to get your ducks in a row. Try to have all your funding together a week or more before closing. Remember that all checks must be certified checks drawn from a bank. You can’t write personal checks or checks out of the business account. Follow all the deadlines and don’t wait until the last minute to meet them.


Escrow Timeframes For Your Old and Hilton Head Homes

Your old home and new Hilton Head home will go through the same basic escrow process. While the timeframes can be compressed or extended some, here’s what you can expect in escrow.

Week 1

• The agent for the buyer or seller opens escrow.
• The MLS status is changed to Pending.
• The buyer places a good faith deposit in escrow.
• The buyer selects an inspector and schedules a home inspection.
• The lender works on getting all the loan conditions met, including pay stubs, bank statements, title reports, the appraisal report, etc.
• The seller’s agent provides disclosures signed by the sellers to the buyer’s agent to get signed and returned.
• Escrow sends out instructions and paperwork for both parties to sign. This clarifies the contract and authorizes escrow to order loan payoff statements, title reports, etc.
• The lender orders an appraisal.

Week 2

• Home inspections usually occur in Week 2. The buyer and agent go over the report and request repairs from the seller, if necessary.
• Appraiser does the appraisal of the property.
• Escrow requests additional information if necessary, including CCRs from the homeowner’s association, if required.
• Preliminary Title Report is secured and must be reviewed by all parties involved and signed off.
• Contingencies for the condition of the property, appraisal and disclosures are removed from all the paperwork.

Week 3

• Appraisal is received by the lender.
• The lender ensures all the paperwork required to approve the loan is present and correct and gives final approval to the loan.

Week 4

• The loan officer orders all the “loan docs”.
• The buyer goes in to sign all the docs. This can happen anywhere from 10 days to the day before close of escrow. Docs are usually signed in escrow.
• Once the docs are all signed they are sent back to the lender for final review. This can take one or more days.
• When the docs are approved, the loan is funded.
• After it is funded, the escrow officer will set up a sale to record at the county recorder’s office. This usually occurs in the morning.
• The escrow agent will then call and confirm the recording. The sale is now considered closed and escrow begins the process of dispersing the funds.
• The listing agent changes the MLS status to “Sold/Closed Sale” and you can get the keys to your new Hilton Head home.


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