Bank, Lender or Mortgage Broker
The first stop on the road to buying property is to at your lending institution. Your Real Estate Agent can introduce you to the top professionals in this field. You want to be Pre-Approved for a loan so that you know exactly what you can afford and what your monthly payments will be. The Loan Officer will help you fill out the paperwork, request a copy of your credit report, submit your information to the underwriter for approval and will give you a letter of pre-approval when that is completed. You will also receive a “Good Faith Estimate” so you will know approximately what your costs will be. You will still need to identify the property you want to purchase and after a purchase contract is accepted the property will need to be appraised. The property needs to be “worth” the amount that you are offering to pay for it.
Loan documents are drawn up and sent to the Escrow company. After the seller and buyer sign the documents, the paperwork is returned to the lending institution for final review. The funds (loan amount) is sent to the escrow trust account to be dispersed by the escrow officer.
Real Estate Agent Representing the Buyer
Introduces the buyer to a professional lender so that buyer can get pre-approved for a loan eliminating any surprises for the buyer. The agent meets with buyer(s) and listens to their exact needs and desires. The next step is previewing property that fits the buyer’s needs to eliminate those that are not “top-notch”. The Agent helps the buyer to understand what property is actually selling for in their chosen area so that the buyer is making educated decisions.
After determining what your offering price will be your Agent will fill out a “Net Sheet” so that you will know your approximate costs. After writing the purchase contract and negotiating with the seller’s agent until the contract is accepted by the seller and the buyer, the buyer’s agent will get all required information to the escrow officer, set-up appointments for inspections, go over the Preliminary Report with the buyer, go over the results of all inspections and advise buyer on procedures for requesting repairs or replacements, make sure the buyer has home owners’ insurance that can be transferred or is able to obtain home owners’ insurance (the escrow can not close until the insurance is in place if there is a loan on the property), works with the escrow office to get the amount the buyer must have available by cashier’s check or wire transfer to close escrow, does a final ‘walkthrough” the property to make sure the property is in the same condition as when the buyer first saw it, usually accompanies the buyer to the escrow/title company for documentation signing and delivers the keys to the buyer’s new home
Real Estate Agent Representing the Seller
The Real Estate Agent representing the seller meets with the seller(s) at their home and listens to the sellers’ wishes and needs about selling their home. The agent will present all the information necessary to determine a selling price, which (if any) fix-ups need to be done, fill out a net sheet so you will know what your approximate costs will be, help the seller prepare the home for showing by educating them on how a buyer will see their home, signs a listing agreement with the sellers, places the home on the Multiples Listing System so that all the agents can see that the home is available and what the amenities are.
The seller’s agent now begins the marketing process by placing ads in magazines and newspapers and on the internet. The home is “pitched” at the agent’s office meetings, the MLS meetings and at various networking functions. Flyers are made up and placed in the home and in flyer boxes on the for sale sign in the front yard.
As the home is shown, the seller’s agent will follow-up and get feed back from the showing agents. When an offer or offers are delivered, the seller’s agent will go over the offer/offers and help the seller understand all of the ramifications of the terms and conditions of that offer.
Once the seller accepts the offer, the signed document is delivered to the buyer’s agent and escrow is opened. The buyer’s inspections and the separate seller’s inspections now begin. As the reports come in the buyer will review and then present his/her requests for repairs, etc. The seller’s agent will advise the seller about what is customary and what is excessive. After full agreement has been reached, arrangements are made for the repairs, etc. Your agent will usually be with you when you sign the escrow/loan documents and will pick-up and deliver the keys to the buyer’s agent.
The Escrow Officer is a neutral third party who will handle all the paperwork and transfer of monies in the escrow process and makes sure that all conditions are met as per the instructions agreed to by the buyer and seller. She/he will coordinate all aspects of the purchase contract, orders the preliminary title report to confirm the legal information on the owners of record, current taxes, deed/lien information and CC&Rs of record.
The Escrow Officer coordinates all information between buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, title department, lender and inspectors. She/he will set-up appointments for the buyer and seller to sign the documents for the loan(s), and escrow and title paperwork.
Records all documents required to transfer title from the seller to the buyer including a Grant Deed, Reconveyance, and Trust Deeds. All funds are then dispersed.
Many people are involved in the sale or purchase of your property. It takes the ability to “orchestrate” this ensemble of activities and people to make the whole process proceed and allow you to move into your new home.
Your Real Estate Agent will lead the parade and make sure everything is happening as it should. Talk to him or her today.