Many first-time home buyers are unsure about what they should do after signing a contract to buy a house. We’ll look at the “due diligence” element of buying a house in this post, and go over the many chores that are essential to making your real estate acquisition a positive experience rather than a nightmare.

It’s time to submit an offer and reach an agreement with the seller once you’ve completed the house hunting process and discovered a home that suits your needs. However, there is some further research to be done before you purchase your property.

The due diligence stage of a real estate transaction is an important aspect of the home buying process since it allows the buyer to have the house inspected, research any neighborhood issues, and work with his or her lender to assess whether this is the right home for them.

Because the timing of due diligence varies by state, area, and even municipality, you should check with your local agent to be sure you understand the process.

Work with your lender

You should already be preapproved for a mortgage, so whether you go under contract before or after your due diligence period, you should be prepared to talk to your lender about their willingness to underwrite a loan for the specific property.

Inquire with an insurer

As you discuss the home with your lender, begin the process of finding a homeowners insurance provider and determining what insurance on the home will cost. If the home is in a flood zone or in a tornado-prone area, insurance might be more expensive than you bargained for or even more difficult to obtain.

Check out the ownership history of the property

The history of a home can reveal a lot about how it’s been treated, including whether it’s been flipped or foreclosed on. In addition, the amount of time the present owner has lived in the house can help you figure out why the seller is selling.

Research the neighborhood

While you may have evaluated the neighborhood’s qualities during your home search, now is the time to make sure it’s a place you’d be happy to call home.

If you’re concerned about crime, contact the local police station and use online services like and FamilyWatchdog to look into it. Real estate agents are unable to provide you with this facts on their own.

Have the home inspected

The last thing you want is to move in and discover costly house defects.

However, not all inspections look for everything. Clarify what the inspection comprises while speaking with your inspector. For a roof or termite inspection, or to have the inspector confirm prior improvements were correctly approved, you may have to pay extra or contact another professional.

Determine potential environmental hazards

Concerns concerning health hazards in the home, such as radon or mold, as well as air or water pollution in the region, should be addressed during the time allocated.

Search for other information of interest

Once you purchase the house, you’ll be able to make your own plans, so make sure you do your homework. This might include zoning if you want to build a shed in your backyard or municipal regulations if you want to run a business from your house.

Tip: The time a buyer has after signing a contract to ensure they are getting the asset they paid for is known as due diligence.

Investigating Due Diligence

When discussing contract terms, buyers and sellers agree on a due diligence time. Although the California Residential Purchase Contract provides 17 days as a default, it also includes a spot for the buyer and seller to enter a different number of days if they want to move the deal forward faster or take it more slowly. In most states across the country, real estate contracts allow for the customization of a due diligence time. Whatever time the buyer and seller agree on is specified as a precise number of days from the beginning of the period.

The Bottom Line

All of these due diligence house buying activities may appear daunting, but your real estate expert likely knows some qualified and experienced people who can help you with them. Every step of the process, you’ll be informed of the findings as the buyer. When the time comes to sign the closing documents, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ve done your “due diligence” and that the home you’re buying is in great shape and free of liens, encumbrances, and title problems.