Purchasing or selling a home is an exciting life event, but it can easily become a stressful ordeal if not handled properly. Contract, inspection, title, and loan issues can easily derail a transaction and result in a delayed or even canceled closing. Contact me today to help make sure your home purchase or sale goes through smoothly. I will be available to you every step of the way to help protect your interests; all the way from contract through closing. Best of all, protecting yourself won't cost an arm or a leg; I offer highly competitive, flat fee pricing on all standard real estate transactions.
What to Expect When You're Expecting (To Buy or Sell)!
Signing the contract is not the end of the transaction. Whether you're a Buyer who found the home of your dreams, or a Seller who found a Buyer at just the right price, there are still plenty of details that need to be finalized, reviewed, and monitored before the closing can be completed. Since every transaction is different, the following should only be used as an outline of the major points of a residential real estate transaction.
1) Contract: The first portion of the transaction occurs when a Buyer makes and delivers an offer to the Seller, and the Seller accepts the Buyer's offer. Suddenly, an enforceable contract is in place. If that sounds menacing, don't be alarmed, there are still plenty of contingencies in place for the protection of both sides. If you would like me to represent you on the transaction, adding my name and contact information to the contract is the easiest way of adding me to your team for the transaction. If you forgot to add me, or have already signed and returned the document, please contact me via phone right away or tell your real estate agent that you would like me to represent you in the transaction.
2) Attorney Review/ Inspection Period: The attorney review and inspection period runs for five business days after both sides have signed the contract. During this time, the attorney for each side reviews the contract and can suggest modifications, except for purchase price, that they will negotiate, or they may terminate the contract without penalty except solely due to purchase price. During this time, the Buyer will also typically perform an inspection to determine if there are any issues with the property that they would like to raise for a repair or credit.
3) Title Order and Review: After the attorney review and inspection period, the Seller's attorney will perform a title search and order a title commitment. The title commitment helps ensure that the seller is the authorized party to sell the property, that no liens or other encumbrances are affecting the property, and that the seller can transfer clear title to the property at closing. The title commitment will be provided to the Buyer for review as well.
4) Appraisal: The Buyer may order an appraisal to determine the market value of the property. If the Buyer has a loan, the Lender will almost always require the home to “appraise out” as a condition to the loan.
5) Financing: If the Buyer has a loan for the home, the Lender will want to clear all conditions before authorizing the Buyer to purchase the home on their agreed terms. Once all of the Buyer's loan conditions are met, the Lender will issue a “Clear to Close” to indicate that the loan has been fully approved and the Lender is prepared to move forward with closing.
6) Survey: Except for the sale of condo units, the Seller's attorney will also be responsible for ordering a survey of the property and delivering one to the Buyer at closing.
7) Preparing for Closing: Once the Lender has issued a “Clear to Close” attorneys for both sides will prepare the necessary documents for closing. The Seller's attorney, at the very least, will be responsible for having all necessary pay-off letters, transfer documents, transfer tax documents, calculating prorations, and proof of paid utilities.
8) Closing: The closing is the time that everyone has been waiting for. It is the meeting between both sides where the all the necessary loan and transfer documents are signed and delivered to the correct parties. The Buyer, often using a loan, will provide the Seller with the money to purchase the home, and the Seller will provide the Buyer with clean title to the property. The closing is completed once all the documents are signed and funds are disbursed. Sellers usually do not have to attend the closing as they can pre-sign the necessary transfer documents in my office and then grant me a limited power of attorney to sign any other necessary document at closing.
A lot of the above steps happen at the same time rather than in step-by-step order. Many different types of hurdles may present themselves along the way. Contact us today so we can help guide you along each part and protect your interest in one of the biggest transaction of your life. We are happy to provide you with a free consultation if you have any questions or concerns.