BUYING A HOME: STEP-BY-STEP

How Your Agent will Assist You:

1. Initial Interview

Determine your needs, wants and desires in a home.
Discuss parameters.

2. Pre-Qualify with a Lender

Your Agent will guide you to financial institutions to obtain the best financing available.
Loan pre-qualification approval letter is obtained from the lender.

3. Site Seeing

Your Agent will show you available homes that suit your needs.
Your Agent will listen to you carefully to help find your “ideal” home.
Your Agent will educate you about the current market.

4. Target a Home that is “Ideal: and write the Offer

Your Agent will write the offer with you.
This procedure will take 1-3 hours.
Your Agent will assist you in delivering your earnest money deposit.

5. The Offer is Presented to the Seller

Your Agent will prepare your presentation by highlighting the strengths of your offer and as a buyer.
Your Agent will present your offer to the Seller and the Seller’s Agent.
The Seller will either accept, counter or reject your offer.

6. Counter Offer

Any counter-offers are discussed and prepared.

7. Escrow

Once the offer is accepted, escrow is opened.
Earnest money is deposited at this time.
Escrow orders a Preliminary Title Report (“Prelim”) and sends copies to your Agent and Lender.
Escrow instructions are issues to all parties along with the opening package.

8. Loan Application

A completed loan application is submitted to the lender of your choice with all necessary documentation.

9. Contingency Period

Buyer receives and approves Seller’s Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement.
Buyer approves the Preliminary TItle Report.
Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property.
Physical inspections/pest inspections are completed.

10. Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Buyer obtains a Homeowners Insurance Policy for their new home.
The insurance information is given to escrow.
Escrow orders a copy of the policy for the new lender prior to escrow closing.

11. Signing Documents

Buyer needs to bring current photo ID to sign notarized loan documents.

12. Down Payment and Closing Funds

The escrow officer provides you with a Buyer’s Estimated Closing Statement.
This Statement itemizes your costs and advisers you of total monies due.
Buyer provides a cashier’s check several days prior to closing.

13. Funding

The lender sends funds to Efficient Services Escrow.

14. Close of Escrow

The Deed is recorded at the Country Recorder’s office by Title.
You will receive the orginal back from the County Recorder in approximately two months.
Keys are transferred from the Seller to the Buyer.

GETTING THE EDGE OVER MULTIPLE BIDDERS

from Lew Sichelman, United Feature Syndicater

In many parts of the country, and in most price ranges, the best
properties are suddenly piling up offers from multiple bidders who
know a good thing when they see one. But sometimes the highest
offer isn’t the one that’s accepted. Here, courtesy of dozens of
real estate professionals across the country, is a cornucopia of
creative tactics that could help you win the day when you can’t go
any higher on price.
No strings attached: Make your offer as clean as possible
Remoting every contingency you can live without. Line up your
financing in advance so the sale won’t be dependent on securing
a mortgage. Conditioning the deal on the sale of your current
house is the kiss of death.
If you feel confident enough, you can even waive the appraisal
contingency. But realize that without that protection, if the
valuation comes in low, you’ll have to make up the difference
between the agreed-upon selling price and the appraised value.
Agents have differing opinions on waiving the inspection clause.
Some think it’s OK to go commando, but others say
it is too dangerous.
If you want an inspection, line up your inspector in advance and
offer to get it done fast say, in five days instead of the usual
10. That way, says Jonathan Osman of Keller Williams Realty in
Charlotte, N.C., if there is a problem that kills your deal, it will be
discovered soon enough that the seller can accept another offer.
Also, be sure all the required documents, filled out nicely with
no erasures, are submitted with your initial offer. “No mistakes
or weird language,” advises Steve Crossland of Crossland Real
Estate in Austin, Texas. “Make your offer acceptable and ready
to sign.” As-is condition: Offer to take the place as is. You can
still have it inspected and cancel the deal if the exam uncovers
something you find unacceptable. But once the inspection period
expires, with an as-is clause, the place is yours.
Speedy closing: Some sellers want out as soon as humanly
possible, so offer to close quickly. One winning deal offered to
settle within 24 hours. Of course, that wasn’t possible; it takes
several days to prepare the closing papers. But the offer to settle
the next day told the seller the buyer was ready to go.

A quick close “is worth money and peace of mind” to
many sellers, says Linda Walters of Sage Realty in Wayne,
Pa. Adds Ed Corbett of Keller Williams Realty in Atlanta:
“Lengthy contract periods tend to make sellers nervous since
their period of risk is longer.”
Going long: Some sellers might have a much longer time
horizon. So instead of a quick deal, offer to hold off the
closing for 90 days instead of the usual 30 or 45. “If you can
afford to be flexible on closing dates, that can be a great
asset,” advises Debbie Battista of Domus Realtors
in North Haven, Conn.
The personal touch: Write a heartfelt letter telling the seller
who you are, why you love the property and how you will
cherish it as your own. Write it by hand, and include a photo
of your family. Corny? You bet, but it works. “Sellers want to
know that the buyers will love
the home as much as they have, and that their efforts
to maintain it are appreciated,” says Susan Neal of Century
21 Noel David Realty in Fair Oaks, Calif. “I’ve seen sellers
turn down a higher offer to leave their homes in good
hands.”
Face to face: Some agents want the buyer and seller to
meet, to get to know each other. At the very least, your
agent should present your offer to the buyer directly rather
than just handing it over to the seller’s agent.
“It’s my job to make the seller fall in love with my buyer,” says
Diane Hughes of the Higgins Group Realtors in Bedford,
Mass. “It’s a people business,” agrees Dorene Slavitz of the
Real Estate Group in Culver City, Calif. “
If the owners like your client, that can have
a positive effect upon their view of your offer.”
Timing is everything: Sometimes the earliest offer wins the
day, especially with anxious sellers who want out quickly with
no muss, no fuss. Kevin Kieffer, a Keller Williams agent in
Danville, Calif., likes to submit his
offers midweek to beat the competition that shows
up on the weekend.

ONCE AN OFFER IS ACCEPTED...

The following steps complete the purchase of your home.

Open Escrow

We will forward a copy of the deposit receipt to the escrow officer. Escrow will prepare the escrow instructions and additional documents necessary to complete the package. We will review the documents with you and answer all of your questions. You will need to sign and complete the documents and return them to the escrow office.

Home Inspection

An appointment with a building inspection company will be set up to inspect the property. They will inspect and then prepare a report about the general condition of your home. Together we will review the inspection report and, if necessary, prepare a list of requested repairs and submit the list to the seller.

Title Insurance

The escrow company will order a title search for your home. We will review the report. Any concerns will be brought to your attention immediately. The escrow officer will order the title insurance policy from the title company.

Loan Documents

The lender will order loan documents for you to sign. An appointment will be set up at the escrow office to sign all necessary documents.

Funds

Once the loan documents are signed they will be forwarded to the lender. The lender will request funding.
The escrow officer will send all documents to the County Recorders office for recording and prepare the funds for the appropriate parties.

Recording

The county will record the documents and escrow will close the file.

Closing

We will notify you when the file has recorded and make arrangements to get the keys to you. Please be sure to contact all utilities and phone lines as of the date escrow closes. The escrow officer will prepare the closing statement and disperse the funds to the appropriate parties. We will review the statement carefully and provide you with the closing documents.

TITLE INSURANCE: STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS

Most mortage loans are made by savings and loan associations, mortgage companies, savings banks, commerical banks, credit unions, and insurance companies. These organizations invest money that belongs to their customers or policy holders, and so they must be concerned with the safety of their mortage investments. This is why a policy of title insurance is required by most lenders on most mortgage loans.

THE STEPS

1. Customer Service Verifies Legal Property Description & How Title to Real Property is Held
2. Preliminary Order & Title Search Are Opened
3. Preliminary Search of Real Property is Done
4. Title Search Examines Real Property Records, General Index Records & Tax Record
5. Examiner Reviews Complete Search Package & Writes Preliminary Report
6. Data Processor Enters the Preliminary Title Info into Computer & Prepares Prelim Report
7. Messenger Service Delievers Prelims to Escrow & Lenders
8. The New Documents, Demands & Statement of Info Submitted to CalCountries Title Nation
9. Escrow Authorizes Recording of New Documents in the Transaction
10. Documents Are Recorded, Confirmation is Received & Liens of Record Are Paid Off
11. Title Officer Writes Title Policies
12. Data Processor Prepared Final TItle Policies
13. Title Policies Are Released to Client

THE LIFE OF AN ESCROW

SEARCH FOR YOUR NEW HOME
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