Closing the Deal 

▪ What Is Escrow?
It is customary and prudent for a buyer and seller to have a third, disinterested party to assist them in carrying out the terms of their agreement. In California, this procedure is known as an escrow. When opening an escrow, the buyer and seller establish terms and conditions for the transfer of ownership of property. Your escrow is created shortly after you execute the contract to purchase your home... Read more

▪ The Sale Process
While there’s no such thing as a typical homesale – each has a character and a flow of its own – there are certain aspects you can expect. While local real estate practices may vary, here are the basic activities that occur during the transaction, from receiving an offer to closing escrow... Read more

▪ Your Responsibilities

Your role during the escrow process should be an active one. Don’t wait for the seller to volunteer information – stay on top of it yourself and take reasonable care, along with me, your agent, to protect yourself.

For example, when you review the Transfer and Disclosure Statement, TDS, keep an eye out for questions answered “unknown” or left unanswered. Ask about them until you are satisfied with the answers... Read more

▪ Buyer Disclosures 101

During the escrow process, you will be informed of specialized conditions that affect the home you wish to purchase. They may include the following:

Lead Paint
Sellers of properties built prior to 1978 have the following obligations to you:

  • Give you a HUD pamphlet entitled “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”
  • Disclose all known lead-based paint and related hazards and provide you with any available reports... Read more

▪ The Loan Process
Step 1. The Application
The key to the loan process going smoothly is the initial application interview. At this time the loan officer obtains all pertinent information and documentation so unnecessary problems and delays may be avoided. This is the best time to discuss loan programs best suited to meet the homebuyer’s needs... Read more

▪ Closing Costs
Below are some of the costs you may incur. Some are one-time fees, while others recur over the life of the loan. When you first apply for your loan, you will receive a Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Charges and a booklet explaining these costs, to minimize surprises. Generally, you can expect closing costs to equal from 3 to 6 percent of your mortgage loan amount... Read more

▪ Who Pays for What?
A major question in every escrow is: “Who pays what?” The answers vary by county ordinances and standard practices.  What is listed below are “customary” practices.  All fees charged are governed by terms of the sales contract and other written escrow instructions. Note: on some FHA, VA or other government-backed loans, the buyer will pay some fees that governmental regulations will not allow you to pay... Read more

▪ The Escrow Process
After all of the contingencies have been removed or satisfied, your loan has been finally approved and documents have been drawn, you are now ready to close the escrow. Here are some of the things that you should think about in advance of closing... Read more