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You should select a professional real estate agent to represent your needs. Once you establish a working relationship with your agent, your home is put on the market and marketed to potential buyers. Once a buyer makes an offer on your home you have three options: accept the offer, counter the offer, or reject the offer. After you accept an offer you can expect to do the following:
- Earnest money deposited into the listing brokers trust account or title company trust account
- Buyer or Buyers Agent orders inspections, receives clearances and approves final reports and/or repairs to the property as required by the terms of the purchase and sale agreement (responsibility for inspection procedures may vary).
- Seller submits documents and information to the Title Company, such as:
- account info for lien holders, if any,
- homeowner association info, if any,
- home warranty contracts, if any,
- any leases and/or rental agreements.
- Completion of appraisal by Buyer’s lender, if applicable.
- Seller will execute all required escrow documents with the Title Company once the clear to close is issued.
- Buyer and Seller fulfill any remaining conditions specified in the contract.
- Buyer and Seller approve any final changes by signing amendments to the contract.
- Proceeds from the sale are disbursed.
Note: The above is general information only. Your situation may differ. Please consult your real estate professional for details about your specific situation
SELLER’S FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
The process of selling your home involves several costs and fees. The following information is very general. Many of these items can be negotiated with the buyer. Consult your real estate professional for details.
- Real estate commission.
- Document preparation fee and storage for deed or other documents.
- Documentary transfer tax (State Deed Tax).
- Any loan fees required by buyer’s lender and agreed to in the contract.
- Payoff of all loans in seller’s name.
- Interest accrued to lender being paid off, statement fees, reconveyance fees and any prepayment penalties.
- Home warranty, if applicable.
- Any judgments, tax liens, etc., against the seller.
- Tax proration (for any taxes unpaid at time of transfer of title).
- Any unpaid homeowner’s dues.
- Any unpaid assessments as agreed upon in the contract.
- Any water or utility balances due through the closing or possession date.
- Recording charges to clear all documents of record against seller.
- Any assessments (according to contract).
- Any and all delinquent taxes.
- Notary fees.
- Escrow fees (according to contract).
- Title insurance premium (according to contract), if applicable.
- Open permit fees for county to close out
SELLER’S WHAT TO BRING TO CLOSING
- Picture identification,
- Social Security Number(s),
- If married, both spouses must attend closing,
- If you anticipate negative proceeds, funds will need to be wired. Contact your closer for the amount that needs to be wired to the title company.
- Keys and garage door opener(s) to be given to buyer at closing
FIRST IMPRESSIONS MEAN EVERYTHING AND CAN SELL HELP SELL YOUR HOME
You can assist your real estate Agent or Broker when you are showing your home to prospective buyers by remembering that first impressions are the most lasting and the most important to its sale.
Your major role as a seller will be to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers. The time, effort and limited financial investment involved can give you the competitive edge needed to sell your home when you want – at the price you want.
YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR CREATES THE PROSPECTIVE BUYER’S FIRST IMPRESSION
Since the exterior of your home is the first thing a prospective buyer sees, a little time and effort can make a big difference in the impression your home creates. And pay big dividends when the sale is made.
Use this check list to make sure your home’s exterior looks its best:
- Lawn is well cut and neatly trimmed around the walks and drive.
- Flower garden is weeded.
- Shrubs are trimmed and dead trees and branches are eliminated.
- All debris is disposed of and toys and lawn equipment are neatly stored.
- Fences and gates are repaired and repainted, if necessary.
- The roof, gutters and downspout are in good repair.
- Driveways and sidewalks are washed down and checked for cracking and crumbling.
- Cracked windows and torn screens are replaced. Screens, windows and windowsills are washed. Doorknobs are polished.
- Doorbell and front lights are in good working order.
If you have planned to paint the house within the coming year, consider painting the house before showing it. A new paint job, well done, will normally enhance the sale value a good deal more than the cost of the paint.
If your home’s exterior looks clean, orderly and in good repair, that’s the impression your house will first convey.
A SPOTLESS INTERIOR WILL REINFORCE YOUR HOME’S GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
Interior dirt and clutter can obscure your home’s good points, so start with a full house cleaning from top to bottom. Store unused or unnecessary items in closets and storage areas or hold a garage sale. Eliminate clutter and your home will look more spacious – an important selling point.
Take an inspection tour of your home, observing it as a potential buyer would.
- Walls are clean and free of smudges, fingerprints and dents.
- Woodwork and wallpaper are inspected for problem areas; wallpaper is cleaned and woodwork is waxed.
- Badly worn furniture is temporarily stored in family’s or neighbor’s attic or basement.
- Curtains and drapes are freshly laundered or cleaned.
- Rugs and carpets are shampooed. Floors are waxed.
- Loose doorknobs, sticking doors, windows and warped drawers are repaired.
- Leaky faucets are fixed. Water discoloration in sink is eliminated.
- Loose stair banisters are tightened and steps are free of objects.
- Light fixtures are in good working order. Discolored or cracked switchplates are replaced.
- Closets, shelves and drawers are organized to display spaciousness.
- Clothing is hung neatly and shoes and other objects are neatly arranged.
- Bathrooms are sparkling clean. Tub and shower caulking is repaired.
- Bedrooms are neat. Bedspreads and curtains are attractive.
- The kitchen is clean and tidy, including cupboards, stove and oven.
- The basement, attic and garage are clean and well organized.
- Mirrors, picture frames and glasses covering pictures are clean.
- Mirrors are strategically placed to create an impression of added space in problem areas.
- Lamp shades are in good condition.
- Electrical connections are plugged in.
- Consider painting walls and replacing carpeting if cleaning doesn’t do the trick.
It is also important to keep lighting in mind when you show your home. Good lighting will make your home seem more cheery and spacious.
1. Closing Process/Closing Checklist
- Select real estate agent.
- Determine needs and wants.
- Determine financial eligibility.
- Discuss finances.
- Obtain mortgage or loan pre-qualification/approval.
Find a Home
- Select an affordable property that fits your needs.
- Discuss offer with agent.
- Buyer reviews contract with agent.
- Agent presents offer to selling side.
Present and Negotiate Offer
- Buyer prepares “earnest money” deposit (typically, 1 to 3% of purchase price).
- Seller accepts offer (Seller can accept your offer, counter your offer, or reject your offer).
- Deposit “earnest money” into listing brokers trust account or with the title company. Please refer to your realtor for direction.
- Buyers lender to order title work/commitment.
- Conduct Physical Inspection of property by a qualified inspector.
Mortgage/Loan process continues.
Loan and Title Processing
- Approve title work/commitment.
- Property appraisal ordered and completed.
- Obtain loan approval from lender.
- Closing appointment coordinated with the parties by Oak & Ink Land and Title.
Obtain Homeowner’s Insurance
- Select insurance company and coverage.
- Insurance will be in effect at close of escrow.
- If applicable, obtain a Home Warranty.
- Need closing funds by wire transfer prior to or at closing.
- Lender sends Loan funds to Oak & Ink.
- At the closing appointment, all escrow documents are fully executed and funds are disbursed by Oak & Ink.
- Enjoy a tasty snack, gourmet coffee and get your “new home” photo taken in front of our wood wall.
- Get your keys and move in!
Be sure to bring the following things to your appointment:
- Valid (not expired) government-issued picture identification
- Social Security Number(s)
- Funds needed to close. Initiate wire before attending closing.
- Closing funds – see below for details. If you do not have the exact figure to wire, use the estimate calculated when you executed the purchase agreement and/or applied for a new mortgage. We will refund any overage at closing.
- Closing Funds MUST be wired. Please call your closing team and we can provide wiring instructions through a secure method.
2. What is Title Insurance?
A WORD ABOUT REAL ESTATE
Real estate has traditionally been a family’s most valuable asset. It is a form of wealth that is protected by many laws. These laws have been enacted to protect one’s ownership of real estate and the improvements located on the land. The owner, the owner’s family, and the owner’s heirs have extremely strong rights or claims in and to the property that you are buying. Those who may have an interest in or lien upon the property could be governmental bodies, contractors, lenders, judgment creditors, the Internal Revenue Service, or various other individuals or corporations. The real estate may be sold to you without the knowledge of the party having a right or claim in and to the property. In addition, you may purchase the real estate without having any knowledge of these rights or claims. In either event, these rights or claims remain attached to the title to the property that you are buying until they are extinguished.
THE PAST CAN DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE
Generally, a person thinks of insurance in terms of the payment of future loss due to the occurrence of some future event. For instance, a party obtains automobile insurance in order to pay for future loss occasioned by a future “fender bender” or for the future theft of the car. Title insurance is a unique form of insurance. It provides coverage for future claims or future losses due to title defects which are created by some past event (i.e., event prior to the acquisition of the property.) These risks are far less obvious than those protected against by automobile insurance, but can be just as devastating. The following information will answer some commonly asked questions about title insurance.
WILL YOU GET CLEAR TITLE?
It is of utmost importance that you receive clear title to the property when you purchase real estate. In order to do so, you must first be informed of any existing rights or claims that may, in the future, threaten your title and possession to the property. Title insurance provides you with this twofold protection.
TITLE INSURANCE PROTECTS YOUR ASSET
Title insurance gives you the assurance that possible clouds on title to the property you are purchasing (which can be discovered from the public records) have been called to your attention and that such defects can be corrected before you buy. Additionally, it is insurance that if any undiscovered claims covered by your policy arise out of the past to threaten your ownership of real estate, it will be disposed of, or you will be reimbursed exactly as your title insurance policy provides.
ONLY ONE PREMIUM
Unlike other forms of insurance, the original premium is your only cost as long as you or your heirs own the property. There are no annual payments to keep your Owner’s Title Insurance Policy in force.
WHY DO YOU NEED TITLE INSURANCE?
To protect possibly the most important investment you’ll ever make – the investment in your home.
With a title insurance policy, you as owner, have an indemnity contract that will reimburse you for loss in the event someone asserts a claim against your property that is covered by the policy.
WHAT TITLE INSURANCE PROTECTS AGAINST
Here are just a few of the most common hidden risks that can cause a loss of title or create an encumbrance on title:
- False impersonation of the true owner of the property;
- Forged deed, releases or wills;
- Instruments executed under invalid or expired power of attorney;
- Undisclosed or missing heirs;
- Mistakes in recording legal documents;
- Misinterpretations of wills;
- Deeds by persons of unsound mind;
- Deeds by minors;
- Deeds by persons supposedly single, but in fact married;
- Liens for unpaid estate, inheritance, income or gift taxes.
WHAT PROTECTION DOES TITLE INSURANCE PROVIDE AGAINST DEFECTS AND HIDDEN RISKS?
Title insurance will pay for defending against any lawsuit attacking your title as insured, and will either clear up title problems or pay the insured’s losses. For a one-time premium, an owner’s title insurance policy remains in effect as long as you, or your heirs, retain an interest in the property.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
The peace of mind in knowing that the investment you’ve made in your home is a safe one.