Since this is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make it’s worthy of deeper understanding.
Our goal is to guide you easily through a very exciting time in your life.
So What Steps are involved?
Make and Write up an Offer, Open-Escrow
When you love a home and decided after careful evaluation that it’s the right home for you, then it is time to submit a purchase offer and sign a real estate contract. Another term for this process is opening of Escrow. Escrow is the assurance of a third party who will represent the buyer and the seller. They hold all the money and documents related to the transaction.
• Even though you have signed a legally binding contract. There are what we call contingencies which allow the buyer an opportunity to cancel or get out of the agreement.
• Most offers are contingent based on one or some of the following: inspections, disclosures, loan approval, appraisal or other matters.
Title Search or Disclosure Review
This is where the seller of the home must report (or disclose) any known flaws or issues with the property and home that may affect the value. This will come in the form of disclosure documents and a title report.
• Title insurance provides a legal safeguard against anyone else trying to claim the property as their own. A title officer will perform a title search to make sure there are no clouds on the title.
Although not necessary when writing an offer, being preapproved signals to the sellers that you are qualified and have a strong financial backing. Not only can it give you bargaining power, but banks will often lock and secure an interest rate before you close the deal that’s not susceptible to market fluctuations.
The appraisal is the way for banks to ensure that the price listed is the correct market price. A third party appraiser, paid for by the buyer, is to confirm that the contract price is in line with comparable sales in the neighborhood. If the comparables are not in line, then the bank can deny or change the loan terms.
There are several types of inspections but the most common is the general inspection. The general inspection checks the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical, water heater, roof, etc. This is where you get to learn all the details about the property and find out if further or more detailed inspections are necessary. If during the general inspection, items are of concern are found, this is an opportunity to negotiate either a fix or credit with the seller.
Separate from the home inspection, this inspection ensures that no wood surfaces have been destroyed by insects (typically termites or carpenter ants). These pests can be eliminated and any damage must be fixed prior to closing.
This will be done in writing and once the following items are complete:
– Seller completed agreed upon repairs
– Seller fully disclosed any known problems with the home
– Home and Pest inspection does not reveal any major problems
– Financing has been obtained
This is when the buyer ensures that the home being purchased is in the agreed upon condition, no damages have occurred, and nothing has been removed that was to have been included in the purchase. This is also the opportunity to ensure that any fixes negotiated with the seller have been completed. This is done prior to signing your closing papers.
Signing & Closing
There are several documents and at least 100 pages in this process and understanding the paperwork is important. Ensuring that your interest rate is correct, closing costs, etc. You will review your closing statement with your Real Estate agent. Closing typically takes place either at the escrow office or title company. In most cases, you never even meet the previous owners as each party signs their paperwork separately.
Bring your photo ID, as your signature will be notarized. The funds can be wired or paid with a cashiers check on the closing day.
We’re pretty sure you can handle this one!