You Have Purchased a Home....Now What?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Real Estate RS151669

Now that you have decided to buy your home, what happens between now and the time you legally own the home?  A Title Company may handle the following items.  NOTE: in different parts of the country attorneys, lenders, escrow companies and other persons who are independent of, title companies perform some or all of these functions. 

Earnest Money - An agreement to convey starts the process once it is received at the Title Company.  Once you submit the loan application, it is usually subject to a credit check, an appraisal, and sometimes, a survey of the property.

Tax Check - What taxes are owed on the property?  The Title Company contacts the various assessor-collectors.

Title Search - Copies of documents are gathered from various public records: deeds, deeds of trust, various assessments and matters of probate, heirship, divorce, and bankruptcy are addressed.

Examination - Verification of the legal owner and debts owed.

Document Preparation - Appropriate forms are prepared for conveyance and settlement.

Settlement - An Escrow Officer oversees the closing of the transaction: seller signs the deed, you sign a new mortgage, the old loan is paid off and the new loan is established.  Seller, Realtors, attorneys, surveyors, Title Company, and other service providers for the parties are paid.  Title insurance policies will then be issued to you and your lender. 

Title Insurance - There are two types of title insurance:

•§  Coverage that protects the lender for the amount of the mortgage,

•§  Coverage that protects the your equity in the property.

Both you and your lender will want the security offered by title insurance.  Why?

Title agents search public records to determine who has owned any piece of property, but these records may not reflect irregularities that are almost impossible to find.  Here are some examples: an unauthorized seller forges the deed to the property; an unknown, but rightful heir to the property shows up after the sale to claim ownership; conflicts arise over a will from a deceased owner; or a land survey showing the boundaries of your property is incorrect.

For a one-time charge at closing, title insurance will safeguard you against problems including those event an exhaustive search will not reveal.

To learn more about what I can do for you visit me, Carol Swain at . Also check out current homes for sale in Bucks County, Pa and surrounding areas.


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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Carol, What a great list and post. This is a localism post if I've ever seen one...

Nov 26, 2008 04:48 AM #1
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This is a great list for consumers to help them understand this complicated process.

Nov 27, 2008 02:06 AM #2
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC

Hi Carol,
This is marvelous information for consumers.  We sometimes forget that buyers are not aware of all that happens.

Nov 29, 2008 09:05 PM #3
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Carol Swain

Realtor, Bucks County, Pa
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