What Should I Look Out For During The Final Walk-Through?

 

About to close on a home in the Fort Myers or Cape Coral area?

Well, as this story shows, a Final Walk-Through will likely be the first opportunity to examine the house without furniture giving you a clear view of everything.

Check the walls and ceilings carefully as well as any work the seller agreed to do in response to the inspection. Any problems discovered previously that you find uncorrected should be brought up prior to closing. It is the seller’s responsibility to fix them.

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post to see What Are Home Warranties And Should I Consider Them?.

What Are “Home Warranties”, And Should I Consider Them?

 

Whether you are buying a new home or an older home in the Fort Myers or Cape Coral area, a Home Warranty maybe a good idea.

You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember later, but essentially, home warranties offer you protection for a specific period of time, such as one year, against potentially costly problems like unexpected repairs on appliances or home systems which are not covered by homeowner’s insurance.

Warranties are becoming more popular because they offer protection during the time immediately following the purchase of a home a time when many people find themselves cash-strapped.

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post to see Is An Older Home A Better Value Than A New One?.

Is An Older Home A Better Value Than A New One?

 

Trying to decide between buying an older home versus a new home in the Fort Myers or Cape Coral area? Well, as this story shows, there isn’t a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics.

Generally, older homes may be in more established neighborhoods offer more ambiance and have lower property tax rates. People who buy older homes, however shouldn’t mind maintaining their home and making some repairs.

Newer homes tend to use more modern architecture and systems are usually easier to maintain and may be more energy-efficient. People who buy new homes often don’t want to worry initially about upkeep and repairs.

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post to see What Does A Home Inspector Do, And How Does An Inspection Figure In The Purchase Of A Home?.

What Does A Home Inspector Do, And How Does An Inspection Figure In The Purchase Of A Home?

 

Buying a home in the Fort Myers, Cape Coral or surrounding areas? Learn why hiring a Home Inspector maybe a worthwhile investment. As we show you in this video, an inspector checks the safety of your potential new home.

Home Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction and mechanical systems of the house and will make you aware of only repairs that are needed.

The Inspector does not evaluate whether or not you’re getting good value for your money.

Generally, an inspector checks (and gives estimates for repairs on):

  • the electrical system
  • plumbing and waste disposal
  • the water heater
  • insulation and ventilation
  • the heating and AC system
  • water source and quality
  • the potential presence of pests
  • the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof.

Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced and have the inspection performed within the inspection period outlined in your contract.

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post to see 6 Home-Selling Mistakes.

For Sale By Owner – Going it alone The Closing – Part III

After all the nuts and bolts have been completed and ironed out, it’s time to get to the closing table. For most it’s a sigh of relief that their Cape Coral or Fort Myers For Sale by Owner is actually closing.

The closing

If you’ve done all your homework along the way, “the closing” — the day you sign on the dotted line and the deed is transferred from seller to buyer — should be relatively easy. So then, just a few more things to wrap up to get to the table.

Do a final walk-through inspection of the home. This should be done with buyer and seller and it can be completed a few days before closing up to the morning of closing. If you have worked together closely there should be no outstanding problems. You will want to make sure that seller has removed all items and left what they said they would and any repairs that may have been agreed upon are completed.

When you go to closing — at your title company’s office — take your time to review over your closing statement. Ensure that you completely understand it and that you were only charged what you were supposed to be charged. Sometimes the buyers lender will attend, which is always a plus for the buyer.

As a seller you will not want to cancel homeowner’s insurance until the deed of sale is recorded. You own that home until you don’t  — including all the liability. Ask your title agent if you have any further questions before you leave the closing table.

Congratulations — one of you is proud new homeowner and the other is moving on!

For Sale By Owner – Going it alone The Nuts and Bolts– Part II

Last time we left off with the offer and negotiations. Once the deal has been made all parties can move on to doing the homework. In any Fort Myers or Cape Coral For Sale by Owner transaction all parties need to work together.

So now the real work begins and there are lots of people involved to accomplish the task.

Nuts and Bolts

Who do we need to hire and what do they all do?

You will want to start calling in the pros. Most people think when they sell a home themselves that they will do everything themselves — from marketing to closing — and save accordingly! Be ready to bring in some professionals when needed, though.   As you weed through the contract and contingencies there will be the “crew” that you will need to call in. The inspector, the surveyor, the insurance agent, the title insurance company, the appraiser , the lender and the list could go on.

While all of these are needed it can be a simple process. This is where the buyer and the seller will need to work together to get these items done. The seller will need to be flexible to allow for buyers people to access the home to do inspections and or repairs. And of course the buyer will need to be courteous of the seller and their time.

The buyer will need to make sure they have a closing checklist so they can schedule their time for lender requirements. And the seller a timeline to close so they can move on.

For all of this to come together smoothly, you will want to choose a local, reputable title insurance company. They will handle the escrow (good faith) deposit and act as a neutral party for funds. They will be very helpful is assisting the seller and buyer in getting to the closing table and keep you informed of what is going on.

Between the buyer and seller finalizing the sale of the house, many things have to happen — some taken care of by the buyer, some by a third party and some by the seller. Make sure you’ve hired a title insurance company to handle your closing for you — someone who will take care of several requirements, such as a survey and title search, as well as provide the proof of a marketable title and deed.

And then we can get to the closing table.

Part III – coming soon!

For Sale By Owner – Going it Alone (Offer and Negotiations – Part I)

Go on, admit it, you’ve thought about selling your home yourself, instead of hiring a real estate agent? If so, you’re not alone — especially these days. More and more homeowners are planting “for sale by owner” signs in their front yards.

One of the biggest reasons is the savings on real estate commissions – 6% being the standard commission amount. The next biggest reason is control, many people like to make their own decisions.  No one knows the home like the seller, they know it inside and out!

While there are many ways to go about the Cape Coral and Fort Myers For Sale By Owner route, here are a few tips on how to proceed once a seller already has a buyer.

Offer and Negotiations

Someone wants to make an offer on your home. Now what?

First, make sure your buyer can buy it. Simple, right?  You want a buyer who can afford your home, before signing anything ask for proof of funds or a pre-approval letter from their mortgage contact.  You don’t want to waste time with unqualified buyers, so recruit a mortgage officer to meet with potential buyers. The officer can preapprove or prequalify the buyer — potentially saving you time and aggravation — while drumming up business.

The offer stage is one of the most important points in the whole For Sale By Owner process

You are going to want to brush up on how to negotiate to get the outcome you want.

Be ready for some buyer expectation that you’re going to provide a bargain, let’s face it, you are doing this yourself and saving a lot of money! A deal is made when everyone will feel as though they’ve won.

It is also very important where the offer presentation will occur. Think about it, it’s a business conversation, you may want to recommend that the buyer present the offer at a coffee shop or even at a title company, however the best would be at your home, at the kitchen table – not sitting by the pool or on the sofa – it’s going to be one more opportunity to sell the property.

So now you and your buyer have settled on a price.

Now, a rule of thumb when selling your home yourself: Put every last thing in writing. Including the offer from the buyer, any counteroffers, the final agreed-upon price, and of course contingencies -making sure all parties sign off.

Remember this is not the end, there are many nuts and bolts that need to be put together.

Part II – coming soon!

Title Junction: Delivering Witness Courtesy Closings For Ultimate Transaction Peace Of Mind

Here at Title Junction we know firsthand that any type of house sale can prove a stressful experience for both buyers and sellers alike.  With so many procedural requirements and notarized documentation that needs to be filed, a home closing can quickly overwhelm even the most motivated individual.  While a local sale can prove tough enough, the team at Title Junction also recognizes that when buying or selling an out of state property, the stress and inconvenience seems to grow exponentially, leaving individuals on both sides of the transaction harried and frustrated.

Title Junction:  Our Witness Courtesy Closings Can Help Minimize Your Stress

If you’re looking for a way to minimize the stress throughout a long distance selling situation, you may want to consider witness courtesy closings as part of your transaction experience.  Both buyers and sellers managing the details of an out of state sale have found that witness courtesy closings offer  a much needed delegation resource for the extensive paperwork and documentation required throughout the transaction.  How?  By offering services on behalf of out of state mortgage, title and escrow entities and acting as a liaison to buyers and sellers.  This third party engagement instantly minimizes needless and unforeseen procedural blips and ensures that the close happens as quickly and conveniently as possible.

Witness Courtesy Closings:  What You Can Expect Throughout The Process

Without the assistance of a vendor that specializes in witness courtesy closings, buyers and sellers find themselves embroiled in (what can seem like!) endless trips to and from the property under agreement.  However, partnering with Title Junction for a witness courtesy closing minimizes the need for inconvenient and expensive travel.  At Title Junction, our qualified and highly-trained staff members will intercept all required paperwork from the loaning corporation.  From there we will transport the documents to an agreed-upon location for signature and notarization before processing, filing and forwarding them back to the originating party on your behalf.

Best of all, when working with Title Junction we will partner with you to ensure that the location used to review and sign all documents works for your specific schedule.  Don’t have the time to take a trip to a bank or real estate agent’s office?  Not a problem.  Title Junction will help you designate a convenient location for minimal inconvenience.  Whether you prefer a local café, public meeting space or even your current residence, our clients choose the ideal locale for their closing and we take care of all the details.

Most importantly, as leading experts in witness courtesy closings, Title Junction offers our clients a diverse and comprehensive range of services and capabilities for one-stop transaction solutions.  As such, we offer onsite Florida notary services to ensure that our partners don’t have to source separate vendors for one property sale.  No matter how far away you are from the property in question, Title Junction can receive, transport and notarize everything required throughout the process to deliver optimal customer convenience.

 

What to expect from your Cape Coral or Fort Myers title insurance company

There are many expectations that we have of people we do business with. Here we outline what you should expect from your Cape Coral or Fort Myers title insurance company. A title company should not be looked at like you are going to McDonald’s for lunch. They are working for you on your real estate transaction.

The duties of a title company include:

Serving as a neutral party.  – Title agents and employees should not be taking sides as to protect a seller over a buyer. They work for the whole transaction in a neutral fashion.

Receiving authorization for escrow monies. – This can be done through a contract for a purchase. One party will designate the title company to hold escrow from the buyer (usually the seller).

Following instructions precisely and in a timely manner. – The seller, buyer, real estate agents and lender all have some instructions that will pertain to closing. It is important for the title company to work with these given to have a smooth transaction.

Paying bills as authorized. – A title company will be given invoices to pay through a closing. They will advise if this is able to be done or not.

Provide an accounting for the transaction. – All fees that will need to be collected or disbursed and paid will need to be shown on a settlement statement (HUD1).

Disbursing of funds. – It is most important that the funds be disbursed according to the settlement statement.

Transferring title and recording liens. – A title company should be sure that all documents are processed correctly in the correct county for transferring of property.

If you are ever unsure about a process, you should get a second opinion. Although you may be tied to the title company you are using, you should know what is expected from the one you use.

Real Estate Title Options In Florida

How you hold title to real estate affects how you can use the property and how you can distribute it upon your death.  The differences are subtle but important.  Full service title agencies, like Title Junction, can provide valuable insights about these differences as well as provide escrow and Cape Coral and Fort Myers notary services for your real estate transaction.

There are Three Main Options for Holding Real Estate Title in Florida

In Florida, four basic types of property ownership exist.  The type of ownership you select is sometimes referred to as “holding title” to a property and has important implications for your use of the property. Here we set out three of them.

Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship provides each owner with  an equal interest in the property and allows the property to pass to the surviving owner, uncontested, if the other owner dies.  The property is not willed away and does not pass to heirs of the deceased.

Tenancy in Common titles are similar to Joint Tenancy but they do not offer the Right of Survivorship.  With this type of title, each owner has a stated interest in the property.  Property shares, or interest, may be equal parts, or unequal.  While both owners survive, they have 100% use of the property no matter what their actual share percentage is.  An owner cannot sell his or her portion of the property without the other owners’ permission, but they can transfer their interest in the property at any time.  The key element of Tenancy in Common ownership is that owners can will the property away upon their death.  It does not automatically pass to the co-owner.

Tenancy in the Entirety is also called Community Property and is only available to married couples.  Each couple has a 100% interest in the property and must have the consent of their spouse to transfer ownership. Upon the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse automatically retains the property.  Tenancy in the Entirety is not used throughout the United States, but is is a recognized form of title in Florida.

 

We are not attorneys, the information contained in this blog post is provided for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and understanding. It should not be considered or construed as legal advice.