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Sellers Closing Timeline: A To-Do List

Sellers Closing Timeline: A To-Do List

Once you’ve accepted the buyer’s offer or negotiated a deal acceptable to all parties, you can expect to spend about 6-8 weeks working to get to the closing table. Fortunately you won’t have to do all of the work by yourself, but you’ll need to spend time completing specific tasks on your closing to-do list.

During this time period you can expect to be contacted by the home inspector and appraiser for the buyers to set up times when they can visit the property. You will need to be there when they come calling, so it will likely be in the evening or on a weekend unless you are home during the day. The visits are likely to take over an hour to complete each, and you would be wise to accompany both the inspector and appraiser as they go about their jobs.

You will need to also take care of the other end of your transaction: the steps needed to complete your move into a new home, whether you are buying or renting.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

  • Hire a real estate title insurance company immediately after reaching agreement with the buyer.
  • 1-2 WEEKS AFTER SIGNING THE CONTRACT
  • Arrange for escrow through a title company and deposit the buyer’s earnest money with the company.
  • Be ready to give your information to the title company when they call or email you. This is important as they are putting all the pieces together. Some of this information may feel personal but there is a lot that will be needed to close the sale.

2-3 WEEKS AFTER SIGNING CONTRACT

  • Cooperate with the buyer’s home inspector and appraiser.

3-4 WEEKS AFTER SIGNING CONTRACT

  • Fix items that you agree to repair as soon as possible after the inspection.

4 WEEKS BEFORE CLOSING DAY

  • Set a closing date with your title company.
  • Hire a moving company.
  • Make sure to take care of details that need to be handled to get to the closing table, and when the closing day arrives, you’ll be all set.

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: Asset Division: How Are Assets Divided in a Divorce?

Asset Division: How Are Assets Divided in a Divorce?

When the legal state of marriage is ended by divorce, legal commitments by the couple – property, debts and more – must be resolved. Asset division can be complicated and emotional, and legal advice is frequently required.

While laws vary by state, the divorce process generally involves distinguishing ‘community property’ that was jointly owned by the couple from ‘non-community property’ owned by just one person. Property may mean real property, like a house, but also business, financial and other assets. Couples may divide their property and debts themselves; if they are unable to, the court presiding over the divorce may use state laws for the division.

While children are not ‘property’, divorce proceedings require addressing custody, visitation and financial support if there are children. If the couple owned a house, neither has an automatic right to evict the other until ownership of that is decided as well.


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: 5 Reasons Why Your Closing Should Be Insured

5 Reasons Why Your Closing Should Be Insured

5 Reasons Why Your Closing Should Be Insured

When you purchase a new home in Fort Myers or Cape Coral, your title company will give you the option to purchase title insurance. While it’s tempting to say ‘nah, I’m good’ and simply close on the house without a second thought, you should first consider what you’re saying no to. Here are 5 reasons why your closing should be insured:

1. For a one-time fee, it protects your largest investment for as long as you own your home. You protect your pets, life, and health. Why not your home purchase?

2. While your average homeowners insurance policy will reimburse you for damages to your house and belongings, title insurance protects your entire property from a defective title, covering both the house and the land it stands on.

3. It puts your name as owner on the records, and the history of your property is searched to determine that you are indeed the rightful owner of the property. Once documents are signed, title insurance assures that you are the current owner.

4. Title insurance on a closing means that if your title is ever defeated, you will have defense in court, in addition to being reimbursed for the amount of your covered losses.

5. Your heirs are covered for as long as you or they own the home, and your title insurance policy protects your property rights.


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: How Seller Concessions Work

How Seller Concessions Work

How Seller Concessions Work

Seller concessions, seller contributions, seller credits and closing cost credits—what do these things have in common? Well, how about the fact that they’re all the exact same thing? Seller concessions are essentially monetary contributions the buyer asks the seller to put towards a variety of things, such as closing costs, escrows, etc. The money is deducted from the seller’s net proceeds at closing.

However, if a buyer plans to buy a home using a loan, they’ll want to check and see if their lender allows for seller concessions. Additionally, the buyer is basically financing whatever amount they ask for as a contribution from the seller, since closing costs will still be based on the original sales price. For instance, if you bought a $250,000 home but asked for an $8,000 concession, the rates would still reflect the $250,000 price tag rather than the $242,000 that the seller is actually netting.

Seller concessions are generally most useful because they can help the buyer pay the upfront fees associated with buying a house that might otherwise serve as a barrier to homeownership, and agreeing to concessions can help sellers sweeten the deal in order to make the sale.

That being said, it doesn’t pay to be greedy—asking for more money than is necessary to cover the costs associated with the concession will simply go right back into the seller’s pocket, so the buyer should consult with their lender in order to have a general idea of how much is needed to cover the agreed-upon expenses.


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: How Does Bankruptcy Protection Work?

How Does Bankruptcy Protection Work?

When a person or business concludes that paying off their debts just isn’t a realistic option, they may file for bankruptcy in Federal Bankruptcy court. A bankruptcy filing places an automatic stay on debt-related actions and judgements, including wage garnishment—the court-ordered seizure of part of someone’s wages. This temporary stay of financial actions—before the case is actually settled—is the accurate meaning of ‘bankruptcy protection.’

Bankruptcy protection gives the debtor immediate relief from actions, and protection of their assets while the case is being decided. Owed parties cannot start, enforce or appeal actions. The automatic stay generally continues until the case closes, or the debtor receives a discharge. As bankruptcy is Federally administered, bankruptcy protection is very powerful.


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: Are Title Companies Still Open?

Are Title Companies Still Open?

Are Title Companies Still Open?

The ever-shifting status of the COVID-19 pandemic has made navigating the world of business into a nearly endless string of questions:

“What businesses are still open?”

“What services are considered essential?”

“What essential services should I leave my house for?”

“Can I still close on my house?”

Even more confusing is the fact that the answers to these questions can differ depending on which state you live in. What’s true for Indiana might not also be true for Florida, and even within individual states counties can have their own restrictions and rules in place.

However, what we can tell you with certainty is that at this point in time, title companies in Florida are considered essential services.

One of the main services title companies provide is the transfer of title and funds so that people can buy or sell property, and many such transactions are planned months in advance and can’t simply be canceled. And since you are using an essential service, you are fully within your rights to leave your house to come to closing. After all, many people’s life circumstances require them to move regardless of the current pandemic, and you can’t very well stay at home to help stem the spread of coronavirus if you don’t have a home to hunker down in, now can you?

Each title company has its own set of procedures and protocols to help do their part to slow the spread of coronavirus while still giving their clients the services they need. You can see what Title Junction is doing to protect your health here.

Stay safe and healthy!


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: What Is ‘The Gap’ and How Is It Insured?

What Is ‘The Gap’ and How Is It Insured?

What Is ‘The Gap’ and How Is It Insured?

‘The gap’ is the period of time between when a title commitment or update is prepared, and when the deed and/or mortgage is recorded in public records. This period generally only lasts a few days or weeks, during which a new lien or interest in the property may be recorded. For this reason, the lien may not be recorded as an exception on the title policy.

Now let’s look at F.S. §627.7841, which gives insight into how title companies must handle insuring title defects that occur during the gap period.

All title companies are required by Florida law to insure the gap when they are tasked with disbursing funds for a transaction and recording associated documents. This means that the title company’s underwriter has an obligation to resolve claims relating to liens, mortgages, and other encumbrances that are validly recorded during the gap period while the title company is handling all aspects of the closing.

Understanding the gap period is especially crucial now with the COVID-19 pandemic, as many county clerks are operating with skeleton crews and have temporarily suspended in-person recording, potentially making the gap period longer than usual since record searches can’t be conducted as efficiently.

Title Junction’s underwriter is NOT requiring any additional indemnity agreements or holding harmless agreements from the parties in order to close despite the increased risk associated with the longer gap period. The standard no lien affidavits sufficiently address potential gap issues.

Stay safe and healthy!


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: Social Distancing and Real Estate

Social Distancing and Real Estate

Social Distancing and Real Estate

With the current state of the world, and the United States in particular, social distancing has made it necessary to get creative with the way we do business in the real estate sector. People are being encouraged to stay home to help avoid spreading COVID-19, so where online showings and remote notarization were practices of convenience before, they’re now essential to conducting any sort of business in the real estate world. Fortunately real estate and financial businesses are considered essential to the economy, so business can continue, just…not as usual. 

Here are just a few of the basic solutions to the problem of conducting business in the real estate market without potentially putting clients and agents alike at risk.

Virtual Property Tours

Generally used to show houses to clients who might live too far away to come see a property in person, virtual tours are now essential for showing houses while still maintaining social distancing protocols. The real estate agent or homeowner can take video footage of the walkthrough of a property and, combined with listing pictures and open dialogue about home features, a house can still be safely shown to potential buyers.

Remote Online Notarization and Creative Closings

While most title company or attorney’s offices are currently operating under strict sterilization and containment procedures, some homebuyers, sellers, and agents might still feel uncomfortable coming in to an office to close, since it is technically a public space. To accommodate clients, many title companies have adopted the practice of notarizing important closing documents via remote online notarization, or they’ve come up with creative ways to notarize the documents in person, such as in a  parking lot with a car window keeping the agent and client safely separated.

Additionally, title companies may recommend having money wired instead of issuing a check, since wiring happens remotely and with no in-person contact.

The ability to harness the internet to continue conducting important business transactions is nothing short of remarkable, and should be fully utilized as we all ride out the coronavirus pandemic together. Creativity and ingenuity are key factors to ensuring that everyone stays safe and healthy while still being able to help people find and close on the property of their dreams.


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: Power of Attorney: The Most Common Types

Power of Attorney: The Most Common Types

Imagine a board game player telling a friend ‘roll for me, but don’t sell anything.’ Would the friend continue to roll when the player returned? Probably not. In game terms, they were granting a limited, temporary power to act on their behalf. These two concepts – range of action and effective period – also apply to legal power of attorney arrangements.

Limiting the range of action — ‘roll but don’t play’ in the game, or ‘healthcare but not financial decisions’ in the legal system, creates limited or ‘special’ power of attorney. An agent granted the right to make any personal or business decision, by contrast, has general power of attorney – it’s like saying ‘roll, play, sell properties, or anything else’ in a game.

Here a few common types of power of attorney: Temporary periods of authorization are called temporary power of attorney. Common power of attorney authorizes the agent until the grantor is incapacitated. Durable power lasts beyond incapacitation — ‘play my turn even if I can’t come back’ — while ‘springing’ power of attorney starts with incapacitation — ‘play my piece if I can’t come back.’ Power of attorney can have great impact, and legal advice may be required.


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: 3 Tips On How to Write a Great FSBO Property Listing Ad

3 Tips On How to Write a Great FSBO Property Listing Ad

3 Tips On How to Write a Great FSBO Property Listing Ad

The key to an effective For Sale By Owner (FSBO) property listing ad is to tell the homebuyers enough to get them interested, but not give them all of the information. The objective is to leave potential buyers intrigued enough to seek out more information about the property or—even better—make them want to see the house. Some of the basic information to get them interested is pretty straightforward: price, location, and details like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

1. Price

One mistake some sellers make when writing their ad is that they don’t put the asking price. Instead, they might put “call for price.” That’s a big mistake. When you write your ad, a good rule of thumb is to be straight forward and to the point. Listing the price on the first page of the ad helps draw serious buyers to your advertisement. Also, when people are searching for homes online, they usually search within a specific price range.

2. Location

The location of the home should also be one of the first things mentioned. The first rule in real estate is location, location, location. When homebuyers are searching online, they are not only searching by price, but by location as well. You should include details such as well-known streets or intersections nearby, if it’s in a desirable zip code, if it’s in a historical district, and maybe a neighborhood nickname. The objective here is to get buyers to physically come see the property.

3. Details

In the next section of your advertisement, you want to describe all the details about the house and property. You want to let them know things like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. Then you want to include certain features about the interior of the home that are considered desirable. For example; fireplace, crown molding, renovated kitchen or bathroom, etc. After this you should describe other property features, like whether there’s a garage, a privacy fence, a patio or deck, a grill, landscaping, or anything else that would be beneficial.

The perfect ad should give potential buyers the information they need to decide whether they want to see the property or get more information. The best ads are the ones that are short and to the point and tell the buyer what they want to hear. Remember that many times, prospective buyers will end up purchasing a property that’s quite different from what they had in mind.


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: Real Estate Title Insurance: Do I Need It?

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