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Escrow, Inspections, & Appraisal



5.1 The Title Company. The buyer selects a title company, whose job it is to examine and insure title to real estate. After researching the complete recorded history of your property, they'll certify that 1) your title is free and clear of encumbrances (eg. mortgages, leases, or restrictions) by the date of closing, and 2) all new encumbrances are duly included in the title. They'll draw up a preliminary report at the end of the process, which your listing agent will go over with you in detail.

5.2 Contingencies. A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. For instance, a home buyer will usually include a contingency stating that their contract is binding only when there is a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified inspector and generally allows 10 days for that inspection to take place.

Before completing his or her purchase of your property, the home buyer goes over every aspect of the property, as provided for by purchase agreements. These include:
 

  •  Obtaining financing and insurance

  •  Reviewing all pertinent documents, such as preliminary title reports and disclosure documents

  •  Inspecting the property. The buyer has the right to determine the condition of your property by subjecting it to a wide range of inspections, such as roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, arborist or mold.


Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:
 

  • Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the close, or

  • The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price).


5.3 Loan Approval and Appraisal. We suggest that you accept buyers who have a lender's pre-approval letter, which is a better guarantee of loan approval than a pre-qualification. Expect an appraiser from the lender's company to review your property and verify that the sales price is appropriate.

5.4 Ready To Go? Don't pack your bags just yet. Something unexpected might happen - a buyer's offer fails to push through, or new buyers come by to visit right when your house is in chaos. There's a proper time to start preparations for moving, and given our previous experience with these transactions, we'll help you determine when that time will be.