Time for nervous Anticipation. You’ve found the home you want, and you are excited. Yet you want to be calm and objective as possible. Be prepared for counter offers. Don’t let the pressure get to you. Remain patient Let your Realtor® act as your liaison with the seller and their Realtor®. Keep in mind, you may need to be flexible on price, closing date, appliances and repairs. Beware of putting contingencies in your purchase agreement. They weaken your offer. However, if you currently own a home your offer may need to be contingent on it selling first. Or if you’re uncertain about the structural integrity of the home, you may want a have a home inspection contingency. Keep in mind any contingency could take you out of the running if a non-contingent offer is also presented.
Once your offer is accepted, be prepared to open escrow and seal the deal with some earnest money. Earnest money is usually a percentage of the homes’ purchase price that indicates you’re serious about the purchase and indicates your good faith. It’s generally applied to the purchase price when you complete the purchase, but may be forfeited to the seller, if you fail to complete the purchase. Many first-time buyers may be taken by surprise when it comes to earnest money, especially if they have to make a fast offer. Check with your Realtor® for the appropriate amount to have, at the ready in your checking account.
Now that you have a fully executed purchase contract, know that there will be more than 50 tasks and deadline deliveries that will need to be completed within a “normal” residential real estate transaction. It will be your Realtor® responsibility to make sure the processing of all documents are complete and all deadlines are met.
The process of taking a signed purchase contract through to closing involves a great many details, deliveries, and document submissions. Coordination of this process is of critical important and involves several other professionals besides your Realtor® as stated herewith, to make sure that all phases of the escrow closing process moves along smoothly.
1. Title – A title company is needed to make sure that all documents and deliveries are processed in a timely manner. Your Realtor® will examine all of their title and recorded documents to uncover all material defects and items of importance. This is normally more concern to the buyer, but sellers must be prepared to respond to their objections, so it’s important to know what’s in all recorded documents. Example: while there are normally a few items in a title binder that can be corrected as they’re recorded and pass with the property, sometimes there are requirements or exceptions that weren’t expected but must be addressed. With the more careful lending environment, perhaps you have a previous divorce and the lender wants better protection against claims and will require additional documentation from a former spouse.
2. Inspections, Survey & Appraisal – A Realtor’s® job is also to coordinate access for inspectors and the appraiser, and to accept deliveries of reports as well as any objections or correction requirements from the buyers. Every instance of delivery of an inspection and/or buyer objections requires a response in most cases, and there are deadlines. It is very important to stay on top of these deadlines, make sure reports are delivered on time or extensions are put into place, and that all respond within required time lines. Failure to do so could obligate you to repairs or other corrections or kill the deal.
3. Repair Negotiations – If the buyer submits requirements for corrective actions to items on reports, it is critical to all parties to determine the cost of those requirements and the appropriate response necessary to keep the deal going in a way beneficial to both the buyer and seller. Should one agree to make certain repairs, there will be deadlines associated with completion, and possibly requirements for the buyer’s inspector to return and re-inspect for completion and repair quality. A good Realtor® will keep all of this on track for you, and can recommend contractors who do quality work at fair prices.
4. Lender Document Coordination – One of the leading causes of delayed closings can be a problem with funding due to lender last minute requirements or other document demands. Monitoring all document flows to make sure this doesn’t happen is also just as critical. It’s not the seller, that is getting a mortgage, but a seller will be very concerned with the buyer’s ability to do so and their lender’s process and ability to meet deadlines and fund at closing. Mortgage problems kill a lot of deals. A good Realtor® is going to be involved in the buyer’s process and will make sure all goes as planned to a successful close. It is the goal of every good Realtor® to exceed the expectations of all involved.
Call us today at (951) 296-8887 and get the information you need enabling you to make an informed, educated decision.
Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact, Mike@GoTakeAction.com. Mike Mason, Realtor® & Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate. LIC: 01483044, Temecula Valley resident for 30+ years, Board of Director (since 2011) Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).