FINALIZING THE SALE
Real Estate Closing
First of all – Closing – or settlement or escrow – is essentially a meeting where the closing agent (the party who conducts settlement) takes in money from the buyers, pays out money to the owner and makes sure that the purchaser’s title is properly recorded in local records along with any mortgage liens. Closing agents, title companies, lenders and lawyers are responsible for preparing all necessary documents. This paperwork reflects the sale agreement and allows all parties to the transaction to verify their interests. For instance, buyers get the title to the property, lenders have their loans recorded in the public records and state governments collect their transfer taxes.
The closing agent reviews the sale agreement to determine what payments and credits the owner should receive and what amounts are due from the buyer, also assuring that certain transaction costs are paid (taxes and title searches), including all adjustment necessary. For instance, suppose you’ve pre-paid taxes four months in advance. In this case, the closing agent will compensate you for the prepayment at closing by having the buyer pay you additional money.
It could also work in reverse. If you are behind on property taxes, the closing agent will reduce the money due to you at settlement by the amount of the unpaid taxes.
Tips for Your Move
Whether you have moved once or a dozen times, it never seems to get any easier. Here are some hints that we hope you will find helpful as you prepare for moving day.
Also, make agreements with buyers about possession of the home and moving date.
Start planning early. From the moment you decide to put your home up for sale, start sorting through your current possessions. Toss (or give away, sell at a yard sale or online) anything that you don’t want to take with you.
Make a list of important items you will need to buy for your new house, such as drapes, blinds, shower curtains, etc. Having these things with you on the day you move helps you settle in more comfortably.
Start packing early. Anything that you are sure you will not be using before moving day should get boxed.
TIP: Organize like items together and mark every box and carton. This makes it easier if you find you need an item before you move, and much simpler after you move. Unpacking tends to be a gradual process–this simple step will help you find the items you need when you need them.
- CREDIT RESTORATION
- PRE-FORECLOSURE DEFENSE
- SHORT SALE
- DEED IN LEUI
- LOAN MODIFICATIONS
- REINSTATEMENT OPTIONS
- HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE INFORMATION
Consequently, protecting your new home with insurance is a must. How well you do that depends on the details of your policy. And although mortgage lenders require that you have homeowners’ insurance, you are not required by law.
Therefore, a standard policy will suffice in most instances. It protects against several natural disasters and catastrophic events. However, it will not guard against earthquakes, floods, war and nuclear accidents. In fact, the lender may require that you purchase flood or earthquake insurance if the house is in a flood zone or a region susceptible to earthquakes.
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You can also cover the depreciated value of personal property, such as televisions and furniture, by purchasing a replacement-cost endorsement. This is an extension of coverage that can enable you to replace the item with one of comparable material and quality.
REAL ESTATE EXPECTATIONS HOME INSPECTIONS
Congratulations! You’ve made an offer, and reviewed all the documents the seller has provided regarding the condition of the home. But, one important step before you finalize your real estate offer could help you avoid costly home buying mistakes. As a result, hire a professional home inspector to give the house a standard inspection that includes:
- Room-by-room review
- Exterior home components
- Electrical systems
- Foundation and structural components – both interior and exterior
- Heating/air conditioning systems
- Plumbing systems
- Attic/basement/crawl spaces
Furthermore, once you have arranged for a home inspection, plan to accompany the inspector for the entire procedure. You have the right to be there, and leading home inspection companies will encourage your presence. It helps you to better understand the findings in the report and will reduce post-closing surprises. Don’t forget your list of questions and items of concern. A thorough home inspection covers more than 1,000 items, everything from foundation to roof, and takes two to three hours depending on the size and age of the property. The report should reflect the condition of about 400 items. A typical inspection can range from $300-$600
Some common items a home inspection could uncover are:
- Maintenance problems such as rotting decks, paint chips, water damaged ceilings, etc.
- Electrical problems (even faulty fuses can lead to bigger difficulties in the future)
- Drainage problems, which could include water intrusions below the home
- Roof leaks and defects from aging
- Poor ventilation, especially in an attic; this is the time to assure that all vents are clean and working properly
- Excess air leakage due to poor weather stripping and subpar caulking around fixtures.
- Failed window seals, which are routinely found with dual pane windows
- Environmental contamination caused by asbestos, mold, formaldehyde, lead paint, radon, soil contamination and/or water contamination
- Faulty lines in water heaters, overflow piping and/or hazardous flue conditions
TIP: Structural damage caused by water seepage into the foundation, floor joists, and door headers should be discovered at the source, and can be easily identified with a home inspection. Home Buying Process – Timeline and Paperwork
Your LEGACY HOME SOLUTIONS Rep will guide you through the closing process, since local/state laws vary.
In general, ownership of the home is officially transferred from the seller at the closing meeting. Most of the people involved with the purchase of your home will attend your loan closing.
In advance, a title company is usually hired to conduct a search for any recorded documents that affect the deed to the property. Examples include easements, liens, tax assessments, covenants, conditions and restrictions, and homeowner association bylaws. The buyer and lender must approve the preliminary title report prior to closing.
Also, once the conditions of sale have been met and the preliminary title report has been approved, all parties will agree to sign closing documents. The preliminary title report then becomes the final title report, on which any applicable title insurance is based.
If everyone agrees that the papers are in order, the buyer submits payment to cover the closing. Furthermore, a new escrow or reserve is established at this point, if the lender will be paying your annual property taxes and homeowners’ insurance for you
Finally (and here’s the best part) you receive the keys to your new home!
TIP: After the documents have been signed, notarized copies will be forwarded to the lender, funds will be released, and the sale will be recorded at the local recorder’s office. This legal transfer of the property may take a few days. It is at the point of deed recordation that you become the official owner of the home.
Home Moving Checklist
6 to 8 weeks prior:
- Purchase or rent moving supplies: tape, markers, scissors, pocketknife, newspaper, blankets, moving pads, plastic storage bins, rope and a hand truck.
- Have a garage sale to clear out unwanted items and plan accordingly. Consider donating unwanted items.
- Keep a detailed record of all moving expenses. Your costs (and donations) may be tax deductible depending on the reasons for your move.
2 weeks prior:
- Hire a reputable mover or rent a moving truck. Be sure to get referrals or references, check with the Better Business Bureau, get estimates and purchase moving insurance.
- At this time, contact your telephone, electric, gas, cable/satellite and water companies to set a specific date when service will be discontinued. Also, Contact utilities companies in your new town about service start dates, including Internet and telephone services.
- Notify healthcare professionals (doctors, dentists, veterinarians) of your move and ask for referrals and record transfers.
- At this time, all clients are encouraged to initiate school registration and record file transfers.
- Lawn service, cleaning and security companies should be notified of early termination.
- Advise the post office, publications and correspondents of change of address and date of move.
- Check your homeowners’ insurance and make arrangements for new coverage.
- Have tools handy for breaking down beds and appliances.
- Also, give every room a final once over. Don’t forget to check the basement, yards, attic, garage and closets.
- Have the final payment for the movers and money for a tip.
- Don’t forget to check in with your LEGACY HOME SOLUTIONS rep – he or she may be able to provide useful local advice and/or referrals.
TIP: Move valuables (jewelry, legal documents, family photos and collections) yourself – don’t send them with the moving company. Make sure you have a complete home inventory of all your possessions.
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Most noteworthy, in order to begin, request an inquiry form with information such as
- DOWN PAYMENT %
- INTEREST ONLY
- OPTION TO PURCHASE LEASE
– MORTGAGE CALCULATOR
– SPECIALIZED FINANCING
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