CHOOSING YOUR NEW HOME

CHOOSING A HOME

There are several things to consider when selecting a home. Besides the obvious, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, you need to be aware of current market conditions and have access to quality professionals to assist throughout the process. Coldwell Banker Welcome Home Realty agents will guide you every step of the way.

Inspection

A professional building inspection will bring to light problems or repairs that are recommended to be made on the home. The sellers' limitation for any and all repairs is a point of negotiation at time of contract. In the event that the estimated cost of repairs exceeds this limitation, the buyer and seller enter into re-negotiations on how the repairs are to be addressed. Your Coldwell Banker Welcome Home Realty agent is skilled at helping you achieve your goals during this stressful phase.

Appraisal

An appraisal is an opinion of a property's monetary value usually completed at the request of the lender and for the lender's benefit. Appraisers consider numerous factors such as square footage, construction quality, design, floor plan, amenities, energy efficiency, lot size, topography, view and landscaping. Other issues taken into account are neighborhood quality and a property's proximity to transportation, shopping and schools.

Home Warranty

Home warranties are becoming more of a standard in homebuying and homeselling transactions. The homeseller may have already purchased a home warranty. If not, you should consider buying a policy yourself at closing. A home warranty will cover the cost for repairs or replacement to most mechanical systems or most major built-in appliances.

Title Insurance and Closing

The final stage of a closing occurs with the transfer of title from one party to another. The commitment for title insurance is normally ordered when the real estate contract is agreed to by both buyer and seller. The policy of title insurance is sent to the buyer by the title company agent after closing has occurred. The title or abstract company handles the escrow, which is a third party that transfers the money and documents (including title and deed) from the buying and selling parties. The escrow company prepares documents, draws up the closing statements, obtains necessary signatures, records documents and receives and disburses funds.

For more information about closing the deal on your new home visit our Closing The Deal page.

Contract Preparation

The Contract of Sale otherwise known as the Purchase and Sale Agreement is a legal document which binds the buyer to a set purchase price and binds the seller to convey the title. The contract also serves as the initial directions to the escrow company to begin processing the transaction.

Expenses and Closing Costs

Sellers customarily pay for the real estate commission, title insurance, the State transfer tax, one-half of the closing fee, some document preparation, and their portion of the year's taxes and assessments. Buyers customarily pay for 50% of the closing fee, their portion of the year's taxes and assessments, and their loan fees. Occasionally sellers and buyers decide to share the expenses of buying and selling. This must be negotiated during the purchase offer time and often depends on local real estate market conditions, other terms of the purchase contract, and timing considerations.

Some lenders will allow a credit from the seller to the buyer for a portion of the buyer's nonrecurring closing costs. But they usually won't allow a credit that reduces the amount of the buyer's down payment, or that includes any of the buyer's recurring closing costs, such as fire insurance premiums, interest on the buyer's new loan, property mortgage insurance and property taxes. Lenders' policies vary on how large a credit for nonrecurring costs will be allowed.

Closing Date

The closing date is the date stated in the contract. It is set in the original purchase agreement by agreement between the buyer and seller. It is always nice to set a closing date that leaves you enough time to prepare to move in, and which doesn't cost you unnecessary money. The date of closing can affect your closing costs (make sure to ask your lender for a good faith estimate).

Occupancy Date

Many times the seller will request to remain in the property after closing, in part to assure that closing actually occurs without the seller having moved from the property. If that is the case, the seller actually becomes the tenant of the buyer after closing, so proper documentation is needed.