the escrow process
As the escrow process begins, the buyer and seller are responsible for certain costs, but is there any flexibility?
It costs money to buy and sell a home. No, we’re not just talking about the cost of the home itself, but also the costs incurred with insuring the transaction is conducted correctly and in accordance with state and federal real estate laws. While buyers and sellers may view these facts with a bit of disdain, it’s important to understand that a real property purchase comes with liabilities unlike any other type of purchase many of us may encounter during our lifetime.
Before you balk even further, think about this: Without the professional escrow and other affiliated services objectively looking out for buyer and seller interests during the home purchase transaction, what would you know about: Continue reading
Buyer Beware” does not apply when it comes to real estate!
There’s that little stain on the ceiling in the downstairs bedroom that was caused a few years back when a pipe in the upstairs bathroom leaked. It’s fixed, but still, the stain is there.
The roof looks good, and it only leaks…a little…when it rains really, really hard and for a long time. The last time it leaked was during the big storms we had back in 2005. We sealed the leak, and we don’t think it’s leaked since.
We noticed something weird with some of the rafters in the attic a few months back. A pest control company determined that termites had infested the area. We were able to afford the extermination, but not the repairs for the damage the termites caused. Continue reading
Something both buyers and sellers worry about, and how you can make sure it does close on time no matter what side of the transaction you’re on.
Escrow: That thing buyers and sellers endure as a part of the home purchase transaction. Or at least, that’s how many view the escrow process. Rather than consider it an “endurance,” both parties should view escrow as a way of making sure all aspects of the sale are in place prior to title changing hands.
Why does escrow exist anyway? Why can’t the home just “change hands” without all the waiting around?
Would’t it be easy if you can just make your offer, have it accepted by the seller, give him (or her) your money and then you get the keys? So why isn’t a property transaction as easy as an Ebay sale, or buying a car?
Unlike personal property, real property can be a bit more complicated. As a value asset that may have exchanged hands several times (In some parts of the country, homes can be over 100 years old), both buyer and seller have to be made aware of any issues affecting the property’s sale. This may include problems, defects, title issues, or even easement and boundary disputes. As a buyer, wouldn’t you want to know about these issues BEFORE you get the keys? As a seller, wouldn’t you want to make sure that the sale transaction goes smoothly, and that some issue affecting the property won’t come back to haunt you months (Or even years) after you’ve closed the sale?
Escrow insures that all conditions of the sale are met by both buyer and seller as an objective party to the transaction. A professional escrow company understands the rules and laws as laid out by the Bureau of Real Estate, as well as local laws, amendments, and supplemental guidelines involving a real estate transaction. Continue reading
Property owners who “overlook” issues that can affect the sale of their home can have big problems down the road.
A leaky roof. That dryrot just below ground level on one of the posts that holds up your back patio. That un-permitted room addition off of the
These are but a few examples of issues that may affect the sale of your home. Whether they were caused during the time you have owned the home or not, if you are aware of their existence, you must disclose them during the escrow process.
Why disclosure is so important.
It is a requirement that sellers disclose all KNOWN issues that may affect the sale of their property. These issues may affect not only the value of the property, but also its safety and security. That being said, the buyer has the opportunity to hire a professional home inspector during the escrow process to assess any other issues, known or unknown. They also have the right to request any repairs that may arise as a result of the inspection. The seller may accept the request, refuse the request, or come to an agreement with the buyer as to which repairs may be initiated before close of escrow. The buyer also has the right to cancel the transaction prior to the contingency expiration period should an agreement not be reached. Continue reading
Home buyers have a right to inspect the property they are purchasing, but what are the seller’s obligations regarding the inspection process?
As part of a real estate purchase agreement supplied by the California Association of Realtors (Known as an RPA-CA), there are several contingencies that must be fulfilled in order to close escrow. These contingencies include such items as loan approval, home appraisal, delivery of addendums, pest inpection, etc. These contingencies have a default fulfillment date that must be adhered to (or amended by agreement from both buyer and seller), and in some cases, they may be waived under certain conditions.
One of the most important contingencies that may be fulfilled by the buyer is the home inspection. The buyer has a right to perform a thorough, non-invasive inspection of the property they are purchasing in order to determine any defects or issues that may affect the sale of the home. “Non invasive” basically means that no dismantling or destruction of the property may take place as part of the inspection. The buyer also has the right to hire a professional home inspector, which is usually highly recommended. Continue reading