And now the moment you've all been waiting for.........
The end of the list........
7. Perform Home Inspections and Settle any Ensuing Issues
With very rare exceptions, I will strongly recommend that you include home inspections as a contingency in the Purchase & Sales Agreement. While the inspections cannot completely eliminate risk, they will substantially reduce the likelihood of encountering unexpected and costly problems after closing. Inspections are generally performed at the expense of the buyer and typically will cost $300-$600 for a residential property, depending on the nature of the property and the specific inspections conducted.
It is important to schedule inspections as soon as possible after signing the P&S, in order to allow adequate time before closing to resolve any issues which might be discovered. As with every other decision, the choice of home inspectors is up to you, though I am happy to provide referrals from which you can choose. In most cases, buyers prefer that I coordinate the scheduling, but I do suggest that you be present for the inspections, as it presents an opportunity to learn further details and to ask questions about the repair and maintenance of the property you will soon own.
Upon receipt of the written inspection report, we will review it together and determine what issues, if any, require attention. If the inspections uncover any issues which would significantly affect the value or safety of the property, you may terminate the agreement to purchase, ask that the seller remedy the problems before closing, or request a monetary credit towards the cost of the expected repairs. Although not obligated to cooperate, sellers are generally motivated to do so to avoid having to put their property back on the market, especially since they are legally required to disclose any known defects to potential new buyers.
8. Satisfy Remaining Contractual and Practical Requirements
You will choose an attorney to represent you at closing. Again, I can provide referrals if needed. The attorney will perform a title search to ensure that the seller has a clear and marketable title to the property and to reveal any encumbrances, rights of way, easements, restrictions and any other matters or conditions which may affect the property. In addition, your attorney will coordinate with your lender and the seller's attorney to prepare all the required documents for closing.
Once the lender receives a copy of the signed P&S, their underwriting department will order a property appraisal and will begin processing your loan. Even though you may have been pre-approved, it is not uncommon for the lender to require additional or updated documentation from you before issuing the loan commitment. You will also be expected to secure title insurance (typically your attorney will take care of this) and homeowner's insurance before the lender will release the funds for your purchase.
During this phase, it is critical that all of the parties involved are cooperating effectively to satisfy all of the requirements for a smooth and timely closing. As your agent, one of my most important roles is to facilitate this process by tracking contractual dates and coordinating the communication in order to avoid unexpected and potentially costly delays.
9. Finalize the Purchase at Closing
Immediately prior to the closing, we will conduct a final walkthrough to verify that the property is being conveyed in the agreed upon condition.
The closing itself will typically take place at your attorney's office, though it can be conducted at any location acceptable to all parties. Your attorney will review with you the deed, the mortgage, and a sizable stack of related documents requiring your signature. Once you have signed all of these documents, your attorney will record them at the local city or town hall, and the title to the property will officially pass to you.
*All material by Paul Hodosh