The Process, Step-by-Step
The Initial Agreement and Deposit.
An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between you, the potential purchaser, and the property’s seller.
Some important tips to keep in mind to streamline the process:
- Everything must be in writing! We will assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your purchase and make sure that you have copies of everything.
- Stick to the schedule. We will help you follow/adhere to the timelines in the contract. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations so that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. During the process we will keep you constantly updated, so you will always be prepared for the next step.
The Closing Agent.
Either a title company or an attorney will be selected as a closing agent. The closing agent or our firm will hold the deposit in escrow and will research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. Some properties are subject to restrictions which limit various activities such as building or parking restrictions. There may be recorded easements and encroachments, which limit the rights to use your property.
How to Hold Title.
You may wish to consult an attorney or tax advisor on the best way to hold title. Different methods of holding title have different legal, estate and tax implications, especially when selling or upon death of the title holder.
Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will need to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property within the time frame that was agreed upon in the contract to purchase. You may elect to have different inspectors inspect the property, if you wish to obtain professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in a specific area (eg. roof, HVAC, structure). We can recommend several different inspectors.
We will review the inspection results with you and determine how to proceed accordingly. Depending on the terms in the contract, you may decide to void the contract, negotiate repairs, or seek some sort of credit in lieu of repairs being made. Together we’ll evaluate and decide what path best suits your real estate goals.
Appraisal and Lending.
It is imperative that you keep in close communication with your lender, who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution, via a third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. Appraisers are specialists in determining the value of properties, based on a combination of square footage measurements, building costs, recent sales of comparable properties, operating income, etc. We will stay in touch with your lender through the entire process and work to be sure your loan will go through smoothly and on time.
If you are obtaining a loan, you will be required by your lender to purchase a certain amount of insurance on the property. The value will depend on the lending institution and the purchase price of the property. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on homeowners insurance by shopping around. You can also save money with these tips.
- Consider a higher deductible. Increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars can make a big difference in your premium.
- Ask your insurance agent about discounts. You may be able get a lower premium if your home has safety features such as dead-bolt locks, smoke detectors, an alarm system, or fire-retardant roofing materials. Persons over 55 years of age or long-term customers may also be offered discounts.
We will be happy to recommend experienced knowledgeable insurance agents for every property type.