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Buying A Home – Sale to Settlement
Working with a Realtor® is the most common and preferred approach to home buying and selling. From Sale to Settlement A Realtor® will be familiar with the available housing inventory in the location, size and price range you desire. Through the Metropolitan Regional Information System/Bright MLS , the Realtor® will have virtually unlimited access to information about homes listed for sale in your region. The Realtor® is also in a position to provide you with valuable information on other resources that can assist you in successfully consummating a transaction for purchase of a new home.
The Offer: Once you have found your “Dream Home,” it will be necessary to make an “offer” in writing to purchase the property. Generally, contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate must be in writing to be valid and enforceable. The offer will usually be in the form of a contract presented through the Realtor®. The preferred standard form is pre-printed and provided by the local Association of Realtors® in your city or county. Most Realtors® and attorneys are familiar with the “fine print,” and the Realtor® will be knowledgeable about completing the forms. Ask the Realtor® for the Standard Resale Contract Form used in your jurisdiction so you can become familiar with its standard provisions before submitting an offer. Specific forms are available for resale properties. The KEY elements of the offer, which will become your contract when “ratified,” are highlighted below. Please note carefully that no specific contract form is required and contract provisions may vary widely. You should review the specific form proposed for use in your transaction carefully before proceeding.
Price: Purchase Price is the amount that you offer to buy the property.
Deposit: Deposit is the amount of money (cash or check) submitted with the contract as a good faith offer to purchase the property. These funds will be held by the Realtor® or the settlement company and credited to you at the time of settlement.
Down Payment: Down Payment is the amount of your own money, including the deposit, that you will be using to pay the purchase price. This amount, together with your mortgage loan amount, will equal the Purchase Price.
Financing: Financing section of the contract/offer sets out the amount of money to be borrowed, the type of loan product (e.g. 30-yr. Fixed), the acceptable rate of interest, monthly payments and points associated with the mortgage loan. It will also indicate whether you are asking the Seller to pay any of the points associated with the loan. Most residential contracts contain a financing contingency. This clause normally provides that if you do not obtain a written loan approval or “commitment” from a lender within a “specified time period,” the contract may be declared “null and void.” The clause normally provides that if you have been declined approval for a mortgage loan, despite your good faith efforts to obtain it, your earnest money deposit will be refunded. This contingency, however, generally has very specific notice provisions that must be followed. For More information, use our Calculators to help you get a ballpark idea or contact one of Our Lenders for assistance.
Title: The section of Examination Of Title And Costs specifies how title will be taken (see glossary) and who will conduct settlement. It is always your right to select CAPITOL TITLE as your settlement services provider. This section usually provides that the transfer and recordation taxes, which are paid to the state and local governments, are shared equally between you and the seller, unless otherwise specified.
Walk-Through: After contract ratification you are generally entitled to only one inspection of the premises prior to settlement. The purpose of this “walk-through” is to determine that, at the time of settlement, the property meets the standards established by your agreement. Under the typical “Property Condition” paragraph, all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems must be in “working order.” This paragraph also normally requires that the property be delivered “broom clean” and substantially in the same condition as the time the contract was ratified. Other general and specific inspections or repair requirements can be negotiated with the Seller and added to the contract in a “contract addendum.”
Settlement Date: This is the date on which the transfer and loan documents will be signed, and the parties will meet to exchange the title and keys for your funds. Taxes, assessments and homeowner/condo fees, if any, will be adjusted as of this date. In scheduling your settlement, it is wise to consider the time necessary for loan approval, processing and circumstances special to your transaction. As noted above, these provisions are illustrative of typical provisions found in widely used, standardized contract forms. Careful review of the specific form proposed for use in your transaction is necessary.
For more information on the complete Sale to Settlement process, please CONTINUE HERE to your Guide: Buying A Home, Your Keys To A Successful Settlement.