Display monthly payment instead of List Price when searching
Estimate your monthly payment
Down Payment: Taxes/Insurance: PMI:
(Based on a 30 year fixed loan)
Request a Tour
Enter valid email
Please enter your name
Price Range: to Area:
Search Properties Schedule a Showing Request a Tour Home-Buying Guide Market Analysis Get Help
Sell your Home Market Appraisal Selling Guide Get Help
View Favorites Clear Favorites Get Help
Search Properties Mortgage Calculator How much can I Afford? Rent vs. Own The Process Value a Home Pre-Market Strategy Inspections
Home Selling Guide
Can you afford to buy?
Owning vs. Renting
Type of Employment
When Should You Sell?
The marketplace tends to be more active in the summer because parents
want to enroll children in classes at the beginning of the school year
(usually in Aug/Sep). Summer is also typically when most homes are likely
to be available.
Generally speaking, markets tend to have some balance
between buyers and sellers year-round. For example, a given community may
have fewer buyers in late December, but it's also likely to have fewer
homes available for purchase. As a result, home prices tend to rise or fall
due to general patterns of supply and demand, rather than the time of year.
Owners are encouraged to sell when the property is ready for sale or if
there is a need or desire to sell. I can provide services to help you understand
if it's the right time to sell in your situation.
Obviously, not every situation can be mentioned here regarding when it's appropriate
to sell. If demand is high and inventory is low, then it's a seller's market and
you could possibly get more for your property than originally thought. But be aware
that bigger demand can lead to a bigger price, but if the potential buyer is getting
financing (e.g. Mortgage) on the purchase this can lead to appraisal issues mentioned
later in this guide.
Clean it Up
Today, the home that stands out among similarly-priced houses is the home that sells. Why?
Because it makes a good first impression that lasts right to the settlement table. You may
not be able to improve the market value of your house (remodeled kitchen, bathrooms, etc.),
but you can improve its marketability. And usually this can be done with more elbow grease
than hard cash. The key is to put yourself in the buyer's shoes. In fact, if you drop by
some open houses (you may soon be a buyer yourself), you'll pick up some pointers. Then
practice making your house as appealing and uncluttered as the home you wish to buy.
The exterior-Starting here is best, "curb appeal" is the basis for a first time positive reaction
to your home.
Here are the basics:
A trimmed lawn, well-proportioned shrubs.
Remove garden hoses, lawn tools, dog house and toys from the yard.
Check for flat-fitting roof shingles; straight lines on gutters, shutters, windows and siding
Check for solid caulking around frames and seams; paint.
Keep walks and steps free of snow and ice.
Lighting (from window, skylights, lamps or overhead fixtures.
Make sure the house smells fresh and clean.
Make sure that the woodwork is unmarred and the carpeting spotless.
A fresh coat of paint is a good investment, and it's most appealing in a neutral tone, since strong color is so subjective.
Remove unsightly or worn throw rugs.
Strive for a lived-in, cozy feeling.
Discard worn, chipped or frayed furniture.
Furnishings throughout the house should be well placed and in good repair.
Set out fresh flowers, and even put a drop of bath oil or vanilla on light bulbs for a subtle scent.
Many buyers judge the house by the way the oven and stove are kept.
Appliances should be spotless and in perfect working condition.
Replace or repair anything that sticks, squeaks or drips.
Counter, cooking, cabinet and eating spaces should be kept open and uncluttered, without countertop appliances.
Clean butcher block.
Floors and walls should be in inviting light colors.
Uncluttered furnishings; defined areas (sleeping, dressing, sitting) by furniture arrangement.
Show the true size of closets by removing or packing items that can be stored elsewhere.
Sink, toilet, bathtub, tile, even shower curtains should be immaculate.
Repair caulking and grouting. Minor flaws suggest neglect to the prospected buyer.
Light should be soft (no harsh fluorescents), but bright.
Sell, giveaway or toss unnecessary articles.
Clean oily cement floor.
Strong overhead light (fluorescent or bulb).
Orderly storage area, tidy workbench.
Tidy it up.
Light it up.
Pack anything you're going to move, get rid of the rest.
Be sure your energy-saving insulation is apparent and the air vents work.
The general rule in real estate is that buyers seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood
they can afford. This means you want to put on the market a home that fits with the neighborhood but
is not over-improved. For example, if most homes in your neighborhood have three bedrooms, two baths
and 2,500 square feet of finished space, a property with five bedrooms, more baths and far more space
would likely be priced much higher and would be more difficult to sell.
Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, reflects community preferences and does
not involve capital investments, the cost of which cannot be recovered from the sale. Cosmetic improvements such as
paint, wallpaper, landscaping, etc., help a home show better and often are good investments.
Mechanical repairs that ensure all systems and appliances are in good working condition are required to get a top price.
Ideally, you want to be sure your property is competitive with other homes available in the community.
I will be able to provide suggestions that are consistent with your marketplace.
Should you redecorate?
The big problem in major redecorating arises because it is very difficult to anticipate the tastes of strangers.
Best to stick to fresh paint in very neutral colors and present a sparkling clean house without the redecorating expense.
Is it possible to over-improve?
Yes. Your landscaping may be divine. You may have the only cabana and swimming pool in the neighborhood,
but it may be difficult to sell a $650,000 home in an area of $620,000 homes. Consult with me to determine
if added improvement means added marketability.
Getting Ready FAQ
Whatever your preference, there will be a number of questions you will want to ask me:
What services do you offer? What type of representation do you provide?
As your realtor I will provide market analysis, marketing plan, and provide many resources to accurately price and sell your home. Upon agreement I will represent your interests throughout the entire process from start to closing. The services I offer vary from listing your home, helping you find another home to purchase, renting out your home, or helping you find a home to rent.
What experience do you have in my immediate area?
I have exclusively worked in the Orange County area for many years as a realtor. From representing buyers to sellers, I have a vast
knowledge and understanding of the marketplace and can lead you in the right direction if needed. Also, I can provide accurate comparable information so you can understand where your home stands in your area and where to price it accordingly.
How long are homes in this neighborhood typically on the market?
This typically changes based off supply and demand and including the time of year. Use my market analysis tool to see what the average DOM (Days on Market) is in Orange County, so you may better understand the time it will take once negotiation an offer is complete to finalize the transaction. Be aware that because all homes are unique, some will sell faster than others. Several factors can impact the amount of time a home remains on the market, including list price, changing interest rates and local economic trends.
How would you price my home?
OCHome4Me can provide recent home sales and comparable properties currently on the market. Also, you may request a written Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which will detail how I determined the listing price for your home.
How will you market my home?
I will provide a marketing plan to you before listing the property so you may understand the different options regarding getting your property for everyone to see. 75% of home sales in Orange County are actually initiated online through mobile applications such as offered on OCHome4Me.
What is your fee?
My fees will be disclosed and based on the marketplace trends.
What disclosures should you receive?
State rules require that I provide extensive agency disclosure information, usually at the first sit-down meeting with an owner or buyer.
What Should You Expect When Working With Me?
Once your home is listed with a me, I will immediately begin to market your home according to the most appropriate conventions for your community. I will keep you informed as the marketing process unfolds and as expressions of interest are received. Be sure to specify how you would like me to communicate with you. Some clients prefer emails while others only want to be called or have in-person meetings. Whatever your preference, it is best to outline those expectations upfront so everyone is working with clearly-defined objectives. If you like to communicate via text message, let me know. All forms of communication are not acceptable to everyone. As your agent my goal is to communicate with you in a way you find acceptable.
Every client should expect professionalism, punctualtiy, and service. My goal is to make this process "easy" for you in regards of what to expect and how to continue through every step.
How much Is My Home Worth?
Many homeowners want to set their list price based on what they paid for their home, the balance of their mortgage, or on the profit they want to
make so they can move into another home. In reality, your home is worth only what the market will bear.
If you price your home too high,
some potential buyers won't want to look at it at all, while others will simply walk away without making an offer. If you're interviewing
several Realtors to choose a listing agent, you may be tempted to pick the sales professional who suggests the highest price for your property.
But sellers, like buyers, need to beware. I can provide the best comparative market analysis and explanation of how your home should be
priced and will be more likely to sell your home quicker and for a higher price than someone who tells you only what you want to hear.
A comparative market analysis will include sales prices for similar nearby homes that sold in the last month or two. In addition, I will
include prices for homes currently on the market that will be your competition, as well as homes taken off the market because they didn't sell.
Other data I can use to suggest a price range include how many days homes were on the market at various price points and the average difference
between the list prices and sale prices on homes that have sold.
After conferring with the me on market conditions and comparable nearby sales and listings, you will be asked to set the listing or "asking" price for
A common definition of market value is: "What a ready, willing and able buyer will pay, at a price a seller will accept."
Buyers are sophisticated. They've already been shopping, and when they see your home, they'll be comparing features and financing. There's a rule of
thumb that says: "A house priced more than 5% over market value discourages offers." Buyers who can afford the price can get "more house" for their
money elsewhere. Buyers who cannot afford the price simply won't look. This is why I say, "A house priced right is half sold".
If demand is high for your area or there is low inventory at the time you are willing to sell then demand pricing set's in. The biggest mistake people
make in this situation is to add 5-10% from the comparative market analysis due to this factor. Even when demand is high you must not scare people away. Most
likely if we priced your home right, we will deal with multiple offers which will up the selling price of the home to meet the demand. The only side note to
this is potential market appraisal issues when the lender is required to do so. These gaps in appraisal value can be overcome through negotiation between the
potential buyer and seller to reach a reasonable and fair agreement.
Finding the right Price
It all comes down to this. Price your home too high and you potentially run off buyers that would have been interested otherwise. Price it too low, then you
might be inundated with offers that make for a very tricky process in selecting the buyer you want to work with. There are so many tools to use to try to
come up with "the right price." I will offer many of these tools to you and hopefully we can provide a price that will sell your home quickly, effortlessly, and in your
Most homes in Orange County are relatively simple to price since their are so many tract neighborhoods where comparables of your exact home are easily accessible. In many instances this allows me to provide and accurate and realistic listing price to avoid issues with appraisal later on. More custom homes in certain areas are obviously harder to stick a certain price tag on. When this occurs, I use an algorithmic function to compare the features of the property, land size, land value, improvements, and so forth to come to an appropriate and realistic price for your home.
Obviously, a home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, so the listing price is just a starting point or reference to at least garner interest and see where the buyers are really at in accordance with the price offered.
Once you've made the commitment to sell your home and established a list price, it's time to for me to market your property so it sells as quickly as
possible. I will share a marketing plan with you, but the more you know about the process of selling your home the easier it is to support my efforts.
The day your home goes on the market it should be in prime condition and priced right to attract the most potential buyers. While I can help you
determine an appropriate price and can offer suggestions to make your home more appealing, your job is to put in the work to get your home pristine
clean and to remove clutter and personalization. Buyers want to see a home where they can visualize themselves living. If buyers see an overstuffed closet,
they'll assume the home lacks storage space; and if your kitchen counters are cluttered, they'll think the space is too small.
By providing me with tips about what you love best about your home and community, I can use this and incorporate it into your marketing materials. I can
advise you on what you need to repair before putting your home on the market. You can also visit other homes that are for sale, or even local model homes
for ideas on ways to present your home to potential buyers.
What to Expect From Me
As your realtor I will market your home in multiple ways:
Research the market to identify potential buyers to target for direct mail.
Reach out to other real estate brokers and agents who work with buyers in your price range.
Take excellent photos or hire a professional photographer to showcase your home online with attractive pictures.
List your home on the local Multiple Listing Service and make sure it receives maximum exposure on multiple websites.
Take a video of your home or produce a virtual tour with numerous photos so your home can be viewed in-depth by buyers looking online.
Once buyers begin visiting your home or contacting me, I will respond as quickly as possible to keep the momentum going. Every visitor to your home or their agent will be contacted to get feedback on your home and to gauge their interest.
What I Should Expect From You
While I do the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing, as a seller you need to support me in several ways:
Keep your home as clean, neat and odor-free as possible while your home is on the market. This may mean that you have to give up cooking your
favorite liver-and-onions dish and that you have to bribe your kids to make their beds and take out the trash every day.
Make your home as available as possible to buyers, no matter how inconvenient it is for you and your family. Your home won't sell if no one can see it.
Leave the house when buyers are there, since studies have shown that buyers linger and look more carefully when the homeowners aren't present.
Lock up your pets or take them away when buyers are visiting, especially during an open house when multiple visitors are expected.
Provide information to buyers about community amenities or neighborhood sports leagues so they can appreciate your home's location.
Types of Advertising
At the location
Providing yard signage for exposure to people driving by
Providing printed flyers of the home's features and price
Sending direct mail flyers to the local neighborhood
Local Newspaper advertising
Producing Color Flyer and Promotional Material
Professional pictures of home and surroundings
Local MLS Publication
Direct feed to all major Real Estate Web Sites (Trulia, Zillow, etc.)
Front Page Featured Listing on OCHome4Me.com (Desktop/Mobile)
Producing Video on home and posting on Vimeo and Youtube (not typical)
This advertising will allow for maximum exposure and provide for more prospective buyers in the long run.
MLS (Multiple Listing Service)
I will enter a profile of your house in the Multiple Listing Service computer. This profile includes everything from location and price, to available financing and number of baths, from house style and heating system to special features and showing instructions. Now your house description is instantly available to the entire MLS membership.
*MLS is a membership service available exclusively to brokers belonging to the Board/Association of REALTORS ®.
In addition, I will announce the listing at regular office sales meetings, and point out noteworthy features.
At Tarbell Realtors, the listing office, as well as other Tarbell Realtors offices, may "tour" the property. In addition, other real estate companies
may also ask to tour your home. (Without the lockbox, your house is inaccessible to this large network when you are not home.)
The week of listing your home for sale, I will coordinate with you on scheduling an Open House. Basically, its a time on a Saturday or Sunday usually between
10am-4pm that I will show your home to anyone who walks up to the door. In a demand market, this will usually sell the house or at least provide initial offers
to react to. Also, it gives an oppurtunity for potential buyers with no representation (ie, Broker, Realtor) to view the property with ease. I will provide signage
around the neighborhood to allow for people to easily reach the home to view. Open houses are an important tool and are necessary to provide the best marketing available.
Obviously, some homes, such as gated access, or restricted access, will be less subjected to an open house due to concerns with accessibility. These are items that we will
discuss so you are in total and complete understanding with the process and the uniqueness of an Open House.
With all this activity, me and other selling brokers will be bringing prospective brokers to see your house. Brokers will make an appointment with the
home seller, and will give you as much advance notice as possible. That will give you time to tidy up, make beds, light dark areas, perhaps pop something
in the oven, like a spicy cake, pie, bread, or even a pan of cinnamon. Make every effort to accept all appointments - you never know when your buyer will
walk through the front door. Also, have the property brochure available with utility bills, MLS profile, house location survey, etc.
All offers registered must be presented to the home seller. They will be presented in the order registered. The home seller should hear each offer
completely and ask questions. No action is necessary until all offers are heard. If more than one offer is accepted or countered, an order of
precedence must be established, such as primary, first backup, second backup.
Is it best to turn down the first offers? In any transaction, it's normal for the seller to wonder "Could I have gotten more?" and for the buyer to
wonder "Should I have paid less?". When your reasonably-priced house is put up for sale, the very first lookers may make an offer to buy. That doesn't
mean that you've priced your home too low. It means qualified buyers and their brokers have been looking - and waiting - for the right house to come
on the market at just the right price. I will advise you on all offers in order of precedence as previously said.
If you are lucky to comb through multiple offers, it can usually let you decide on not only price, but contigencies, and other financing options such as
downpayment and loan contigencies.
For example, your selling the house for 600,000 and receive two offers: one for 615,000 with 5% down and another for 610,000
with 20% down. The offer for 615,000 looks better because its "more money", but the biggest thing to consider is wether or not it will get held up in escrow and
potentially not close, escpecially considering only 5% down. In this situation, the 610,000 offer looks the best and has the best chances of closing.
Presenting an Offer
A buyer makes an offer by submitting a written and signed offer to purchase, which will become the sales contract when ratified by everyone's signature.
Once the seller and buyer sign the paper, they are bound by the contract conditions.
The "presentation of a contract" begins when I arrange a presentation appointment with the home seller. (The buyer doesn't attend the presentation.)
I will present the terms of the offer, and act as the your advisor. Part of the presentation is determining that the buyer is qualified financially
to make the purchase.
Content Of Presentation
Included in the presentation of the offer are a number of specific concerns. After all, once the contract is signed, it becomes the binding guideline
for the transaction.
Description of the offer will include, but is not limited to:
Date, name and address of the buyer and seller
legal description of the property.
Amount of earnest money deposit, which will be held in an escrow account by the broker, unless otherwise noted.
Size of down payment, and how the remainder of purchase price is to be financed.
The maximum interest rate the buyer is willing
to pay, and the right to cancel without penalty if such financing proves unavailable.
Proposed settlement and occupancy date
Daily rent provision for "post-settlement occupancy" if the seller cannot vacate and becomes the temporary
tenant of the buyer.
Contingencies, if any, such as satisfactory review by attorney, structural inspection, appraisal, or sale of the buyer's present house.
Other: including a list of items that convey with the sale, stipulation that title must be insured, and who is to
pay various settlement costs.
Evaluating an Offer
Taking into consideration at the presentation of the offer of all the details described in the previous section.
A decision on an offer should be made at presentation, if possible.
A home seller has three possible options.
Accept the offer as written.
Make a "counter offer" on unacceptable aspects.
Counters are written in the margin of the contract or in addenda, and initialed by the home seller.
A purchase offer with counters is not a ratified contract until the homebuyer accepts and initials the counters.
Buyers can withdraw, accept or counter the counter offer.
Reject the offer, if it is totally unacceptable.
Outright rejection, without a counter, should be the last resort. A contract exists when all terms
including changes are ratified by initials of all principals. When the contingencies are satisfied, the contract becomes enforceable.
What Factors Should You Consider in a Purchase Offer?
Once you know the buyer can legitimately qualify for a loan, you should begin to evaluate the offer by looking at these factors:
How close is the offer to your asking price?
Will your home appraise for the contract price?
How large is the earnest money deposit that accompanied the offer?
Has the buyer asked for assistance with closing costs?
Has the buyer asked you to make repairs or to give a credit for home improvements?
Is the requested settlement date appropriate for your needs?
If you're not immediately satisfied with the offer or are uncertain about whether to accept it, consider your options:
Are there other offers?
Can you wait for more offers to come in?
How will you handle it if no other offers come in after a particular deadline?
As a seller, you have the options of accepting the offer as is, declining the offer, or making a counteroffer. I can give you specific advice about your
negotiating stance based on your home and your market, but generally you will need to be prepared to compromise on some aspect of your home sale.
Your negotiations can go more smoothly if you have a clear sense of your own priorities, such as a particular settlement date, the ability to rent-back
your home from your buyers, or a minimum price that you need to achieve to meet your financial goals. I will have prepared a document showing you net
proceeds at different sales prices that can make it easier to understand the value of different offers.
Negotiations proceed best when both you and your buyer respect each other's needs and interests and come to an appropriate compromise with the help of
Receiving Offers FAQ
Does the sale of a condominium or a property within a Homeowners Association (HOA) require any special action?
The purchase offer for a condo sale or homeowners association property will contain, in compliance with the law, a requirement that the
seller furnish the buyer with certain disclosure information and documents. Most of this information will be provided by me to the seller at this time.
Do buyers ever offer more than the listing price?
This all depends on market and demand and the ability to list the property for sale at the right price. Buyer's will present an offer "above list" sometimes if
they believe it makes their offer more acceptable than other competing offers. For the protection of all parties, it is best to include a separate
statement signed by the buyer, indicating the buyer's awareness of the list price and their reasons for the higher offer.
What do you do if the property doesn't sell?
The first step is to go over carefully with me why the property has not sold. Usually price and property condition are the key. Study and analyze what has
sold in your area and at what price. Then relist the house after adjusting for shortcomings. Another option is to withdraw from the market and rent until
the market improves, or simultaneously offer for sale or rent.
When will the yard sign be removed?
Placing a sign in the yard is always done by mutual agreement between the me and home seller. All signs will comply with any and all local sign ordinances.
If a buyer forfeits the deposit, who gets the money?
If the buyer fails to make full settlement, the deposited earnest money may be forfeited only after a release is signed by all parties.
In the event of forfeiture, the deposit will be divided equally between the seller and the real estate brokers, but not to exceed the amount
of the commission, or according to the sales contract. Most contracts can only forfeit up to 3% of the approved offered price.
Buyer's Final Inspection
The purpose of the walk-through inspection prior to settlement is to determine if conditions in the contract are satisfied.
The time for the buyer to inspect and note defects for correction by the seller is during the contract negotiation and prior to
signing the sales agreement. Repair or replacement items should be noted in the contract. Most resale homes are sold in "as is" condition,
however, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing items should be in working condition.
It is up to the buyer to perform the inspection, not the seller who may or may not be present. The buyer should be accompanied by me, and the home
seller should be sure utilities are on so that equipment can be operated.
Expect the buyer to try all lights and switches; turn all faucets on and off, run shower and flush toilets; turn on furnace and central air conditioning
(in off-season, the buyer may hire a professional to certify proper function); test all stove burners, oven at bake and broil; run the dishwasher, washer,
and dryer through complete cycles; open and close all windows and doors. In short, the buyer should try everything, including the keys and the fireplace
All deficiencies should be noted. If seller does not correct problems prior to settlement, funds may be withheld by escrow for repairs.
The selling broker will coordinate with the listing broker and seller to make repairs before settlement, if possible. Upon receipt of bills
and notification that repairs are complete, escrow will release the balance of funds to the seller, if money is escrowed for needed repairs.
When selling your home you must complete a transfer disclosure document. This pertains to the condition and servicable features on your home. It's basically
a questionaiire that you must fill out to your best knowledge. This typically alleviates liability issues that could arise from un-disclosed and known
issues regarding the house or servicable parts to the home.
For example, you have sprinklers in the backyard but you know that some of them are broken. This
is an issue that would need to be disclosed. Or, for instance, you have a gas range in your kitchen, this is something you would also disclose. Many of the items
don't have much importance but the real details are within issues with title, liens, or other incumbrences that could lead to liability issues down the road.
Disclosure - the action of making new or secret information known
While the burden is on the buyer to finalize financing for the home purchase and to obtain homeowners insurance, some contract contingencies will impact you,
too, especially if you're living in the home. Most transactions include a home inspection, so you'll need to make your home available to the inspector and
then negotiate with the buyers about anything the inspection turns up according to the terms of your contract.
Besides the home inspection, most contracts and lenders call for a termite inspection. In each case, you or me will need to make the home available for
Another important step prior to closing is the appraisal. If the appraisal comes in higher than the sales price, then the buyers can relax and be happy
that they have purchased a home for less than its market value. Once the contract has been signed, you as the seller cannot renegotiate the price higher.
However, if the appraisal comes in lower than the sales price, then the buyer's lender will limit the loan amount to that lower value. The buyer may have to come up with additional cash to cover the financing gap or may ask you to renegotiate the contract. I can advise you about the best
way to handle this situation, but in any case you and the buyer are also bound by the contract terms.
A mortgage contingency clause, also known as a loan contingency clause, is considered one of the most important purchase contract provisions for the potential buyer of real property. Its only contender for essential buyer provisions is the home inspection contingency. A mortgage contingency clause is a provision in the home purchase contract saying that if the prospective buyer cannot get a mortgage within a fixed period of time with the specified terms, the buyer can call off the whole deal and get back his deposit. The agreement with the seller is therefore conditional on the buyer being able to obtain a mortgage on the property. If the borrower is unable to obtain a firm commitment from a lender for the loan to buy the property in a set time period, the buyer has the option to not close the sale and is entitled to a refund of his full down payment.
An inspection contingency gives the buyer the right to have the home inspected within a specified time period, such as 5-7 days. It protects the buyer, who can cancel the contract or negotiate repairs based on the findings of a professional home inspector. An inspector examines the property's interior and exterior, including the condition of electrical, finish, plumbing, structural and ventilation elements. The inspector furnishes a report to the buyer detailing any issues discovered during the inspection.
Before you go to settlement, you and your listing agent should go over the contract and make sure you're fulfilling all the promises you made in terms
of what items will be conveyed to the buyer and any repairs or improvements you promised to make.
Contigency - a future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty, a probable incidental expense
The decision about who provides settlement (also known as escrow) is usually determined by the seller but by law has to be agreed upon in order to faciliate the
transaction. At the closing, the buyer will provide funds to buy your home and the escrow agent will review the sales agreement to determine what
payments you'll receive. The title to the property is transferred to the buyers and arrangements are made to record that title transfer with the
appropriate local recorders office.
At a typical closing, adjustments are made to the final amounts owed by the buyer and you as the seller. For example, if you've been paying your
property taxes through an escrow account, you may be credited extra for prepaid taxes or you may receive less money at settlement if the property
taxes haven't been paid properly.
Escrow means putting something, such as a deed or money, in the custody of a neutral third party until certain conditions are met. Escrow companies often oversee a real estate transaction, from initial deposit to final funding, to ensure a smooth process. All parties to a real estate transaction need reassurance that no exchange of funds or property will take place until all conditions are met.
Escrow - a bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party, taking effect only when a specified condition has been fulfilled.
Title services are required to guarantee the validity of one's interest in the personal property that is being conveyed. These services are generally required by a lender to adequately insure the collaterilized interest in the property. Any issues with property ownership or equitable rights will be dealt with by Title.
Title - a formal document, such as a deed, that serves as evidence of ownership.
Your listing broker will keep you informed about the buyer's loan approval progress. Most contracts require the buyer to make a loan application
immediately after contract ratification.
The lender's loan officer takes the buyer's application. A property appraisal is ordered to confirm that the property is adequate security for the
mortgage (the home seller should expect the appraiser to call for the inspection appointment). The lender verifies the buyer's employment, income,
deposits, credit rating and debts.
Upon receipt of any information requested and the appraisal, the lender issues final approval of the mortgage application. VA, FHA, and occasionally a
conventional lender may specify requirements which must be met before the loan will be made, such as repairs. When the loan is approved, a commitment
is issued to the buyer. Many contracts require loan commitment from the lender within a specified period of time.
After Loan Approval
After the buyer receives written loan approval, the selling and listing brokers will coordinate a settlement date. I will notify you to confirm the date,
place, and time and will give you a checklist of everything you need to bring to settlement. I will also let you know when you should notify utility
companies to transfer accounts.
Once all documentation is received and funds have been deposited into escrow. Then the escrow offices will go over all documents and order title. Title is a way
for the banks to insure that the property will be conveyed without any incumbrences or issues. Once all papers are signed and notarized, it will go to recording.
Once the deed and mortgage security instruments are recorded then the transaction is complete and escrow will release all appropriate funds to the seller.
Closing costs for the seller may include:
Escrow fees (preparation of the deed, settlement fee, and any release fees)
Lender's inspection fee
State deed transfer tax or recordation fee
Condominium or homeowners association packet fees
Interest up to the date trusts are paid off
*If the seller's taxes or insurance have been escrowed, the seller will receive any money accumulated in the account for bills not yet due.
*The seller will be reimbursed for any money paid in advance and not used, such as property taxes. The seller will receive these
refunds at or after settlement.
*Taxes and homeowners association dues or condominium fees will be prorated on a
*The seller, buyer, and brokers are supplied a copy of settlement sheets for their records.
As the seller you will have to physically go to a notary and have the final papers signed, including the grant deed that will convey ownership of the property to the buyer. Once all documents have been signed and are aligned, funds deposited, the final recording notice will go out. This is considered the "close of escrow" and disbursement of funds is finalized.
The house has now been sold, settled, and funds disbursed. Congratulations!
Even the smallest home contains a lot of furniture, clothes, kitchen equipment, pictures and other items. For a short move, it may be worthwhile
to transport small goods by yourself, but larger items will likely require a professional mover.
How Do You Plan a Move?
The time to plan your move begins once you've decided to sell your home. Some of the activities required to sell the home can actually help with the
moving process. For example, by cleaning out closets, the basement and the attic there will be less to do once the home is under contract.
Your planning will be guided by a number of things:
Are you moving long distance?
You'll likely require an interstate mover or the rental of an interstate rental truck for your items.
You'll need to consider packing boxes, peanuts, blankets or padding and a rental truck.
Planning is key: Stock up on boxes, packing materials, tape and markers. Always mark boxes so that movers will know where goods should be placed.
Which Mover Should You Use?
There are a number of factors to consider:
Cost You'll want to spend as little as possible, but choosing only on the basis of cost can be a mistake. Movers must have the right equipment,
training and experience to do a good job. A mover, no matter how large or small, should be able to provide recent references for homesellers
with a similar volume of goods to transport.
Get mover estimates in writing Be aware that it's possible to get discounts through membership organizations and, sometimes, on the basis of
Always confirm mover credentials Movers should be licensed and bonded as required in your state, and employees should have workman's comp insurance.