Congratulations! After months of going to Open Houses, getting outbid, and multiple offers, you are now in escrow. This is where you ask me "what happens next?". Well, the real work starts.
Once your offer is accepted you have 3 business days to get your earnest money deposit, most likely 3% of the purchase price into escrow. Most often this is done by wire transfer these days but some escrow companies will also accept a personal check. If you do wire the funds, I would highly recommend checking the wiring instructions with the escrow co on the phone first. The deposit of your EMD is one of the few times we are counting business days and not calendar days. If the 3rd day falls on a weekend or holiday that rolls over to the next business day but other than that Real Estate is a 7 day a week endeavor.
Next you'll be doing inspections. In Redondo Beach you most likely agreed to a a 10 day (or less) inspection contingency period and 17 days for loan and appraisal. Please note that even though the contract has default timelines of 17 days and 21 days most listing agents, including yours truly, do not like to take the property off the market for more than 10 days. The reason is simple. During the inspection period, it is very easy for the Buyer(s) to cancel for just about any reason. And often they do.
Don't delay on getting your inspections scheduled. For one thing many inspectors are very busy. Secondly you might need additional inspections and you can't always count on getting an extension from the Seller.
I would also say, don't look for the lowest cost home inspector. You want someone with experience who talks in plain English about the issues with the house - and there will be issues. Expect to see a list of anywhere from 30-40 items "called out". Most aren't very serious and come up in every property.
The home inspector is a generalist and while many have experience in the trades, they will definitely advise that you consult specialists such as plumbers, roofers, mold inspectors, electricians etc if there are problems above and beyond the usual laundry list.
While you are managing inspections, you will also be dealing with a flood of paperwork from your lender and the escrow company. And just when you think you've seen enough paperwork, you'll get a pile of Real Estate disclosures to review. Often it may seem as if you are getting the same or very similar documents from multiple parties. Most likely you are.
The way I describe this to my Buyer clients is that there are three trains moving forward on 3 parallel tracks: loan, escrow, and real estate. There are times when they converge and other time when they are doing their own things. But for a successful close of escrow, all have to work with each other hand in hand - particularly today with the new TRID requirements.
Speaking of which, I've known Buyers to put off ordering their appraisal until after the home inspection is completed. I think that's not advisable. Yes, you may pay for an appraisal for a home you don't buy based on the inspection. Unfortunately just a cost of doing business.