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Escrow Inspections and Appraisals

The Process, Step-by-Step

The Initial Agreement and Deposit.

An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential purchaser and the property’s seller.
Some important tips to keep in mind to streamline the process:
• Keep written records of everything. We will assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your purchase and make sure that you have copies of everything.

• Stick to the schedule. Now that the buyer and seller have agreed in writing, the offer becomes a binding contract. There will be a timeline of events that need to occur at certain times during the transaction. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations so that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. During the process we will keep you constantly updated, so you will always be prepared for the next step.

The Closing Agent.

An attorney will be selected as a closing agent.The closing agent will hold the deposit in escrow. The closing attorney will research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. Some properties are subject to restrictions which limit various activities such as building. There may be recorded easements and encroachments, which limit the rights to use your property.

How to Hold Title.

You should consult your attorney or tax advisor on the best way to hold title. Different methods of holding title have different legal, estate and tax implications, especially when selling or upon death of the title holder.

Inspections.

Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will need to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property within the time frame that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase.Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:
1. Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the close, or

2. The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price).

Appraisal and Lending.

It is imperative that you keep in close communication with your lender, who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution, via a third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. Appraisers are specialists in determining the value of properties, based on a combination of square footage measurements, building costs, recent sales of comparable properties, operating income, etc. When you are within two weeks of closing, double check with your lender to be sure the loan will go through smoothly and on time.