Escrow Expectations & Appraisals
What is Escrow? In a nutshell, escrow begins when the earnest money deposit and purchase offer is mutually accepted by both the buyer and the seller. Escrow ends when the buyer becomes the official new owner, recorded in the county records.
Title Company and Escrow Holder: In Santa Clara County , typically the seller or sellers agent selects the title company and escrow holder, because they are paying for the costs. The title company will research the complete recorded history of the property, to make sure that the title is free and clear of all encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. You will receive a copy of the “preliminary title report”, which we can explain to you.
Contingencies: Many purchase agreements provide the buyer with specific amounts of time to inspect the property, review the preliminary title report and all disclosure documents and obtain financing and insurance before they must actually complete their purchase of the property. At the successful conclusion of each of these milestones, the buyer will remove that contingency of their purchase and move one step closer to the close. Or, the buyer may use information they have learned to request a renegotiation of the terms of the contract (often the price). This is when an objective, experienced listing agent can really make a difference by helping you make an informed decision on how to respond to the buyer.
Inspections: The buyer may have the right to have a wide variety of property inspections to determine the property’s condition and the cost of any impending repairs or upgrades. Inspections may include roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, or mold. You are entitled to a copy of any of their inspection reports.
Appraisal and Loan Approval: We recommend accepting offers from buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval letter. Later, the lender will send an appraiser out to the property, to ensure the property is worth the sales price.