Archive for April 2016

5 Reasons to Move to Bucks County

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Class-Harlan_Bucks County Real EstateA quick Google image search will bring up hundreds of pictures of historical homes, beautiful river towns, winding jogging paths and scenes from one of the many local art fairs, cultural festivals or farmers markets that take place throughout the year. It is truly a beautiful corner of the world.
While pictures do a nice job of painting a picture and getting people introduced to Bucks County, we’ve decided to make things easier with a list of what we feel make this place worthy of calling home.

Location

It doesn’t get more cliché than location when it comes to real estate, but it’s true. Location is very important and Bucks County checks virtually all the boxes. Boasting a formidable economy in its own right, it is also connected, through a series of convenient highways, to Philadelphia, New York City and many of the major industrial and corporate regions in the area.

When play is top on the list, you are minutes from hundreds of parks, wildlife preserves and walking paths. The Delaware River and other streams offer fantastic fishing and/or kayaking and you are never too far from the Poconos when you want to hit the slopes. And, let’s not forget the beautiful beaches of New Jersey.
• To Downtown Philadelphia: 45 minutes
• To New York City: 1 hour and 30 minutes
• To Atlantic City: 2 hours
• To Poconos: 1 hour and 30 minutes
• To Princeton: 30 minutes
• To Shore Points: 1 hour and 30 minutes
• To Harrisburg: 2 hours

Schools

Class-Harlan_Bucks County SchoolsBucks County is home to some of the most awarded public schools in the region. Along with comprehensive academics our schools offer robust art, music and athletic programs to enrich the lives of each and every student with a diverse and well rounded education. Bucks County is also home to over 100 private schools as well, offering numerous options for families based on their precise needs. There are also several higher education options, from community college to universities. For the littlest of our residents, day care and early childhood education opportunities abound. To learn more about Bucks County schools, click here.

Culture and Entertainment

There are dozens of vineyards and the Bucks County wine trail is a great place to start your research. There are standout microbreweries as well.

Museums and art galleries also abound. The James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, built around the remaining stone walls of the 19th century Bucks County prison offers a robust collection of art and features impressive temporary exhibits. The Bucks County Children’s Museum, located in New Hope, is an interactive museum that will entertain your children visit after visit.

Peddler’s Village, also in New Hope, offers dozens of quaint shops, restaurants, and bars. Walk the many winding paths for window shopping or sit and enjoy the vibrant gardens that are sprinkled throughout the village.

Class Harlan_Bucks County Things to DoThe County Theater in Doylestown is a historic theater that keeps its old school charm. Showing indie films as well as classics (think Indiana Jones and Gone with the Wind,) there is always something to see.

The area will scratch the itch of any history buff looking to go back in time. Historic towns and houses speckle the region. The area is the scene of Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware on his way to the battle of Trenton, an event that is reenacted on Christmas every year. There are many festivals that feature reenactments to relive these fascinating times.

Food

Bucks County Restaurants_Doylestown Placed to EatIt would be a tall order to list the many incredible dining options available in Bucks County. Each town offers something special and unique, from corner cafes to can’t miss brunch spots. From farm to table creations and modern cuisine to Thai and BBQ, you are never too far away from something new and delicious. Cozy up to a fireplace and enjoy a cocktail or sit outside and look out over the Delaware River as it gently rolls by.

And, don’t forget the many markets, produce stores and farms offering baked goods and farm fresh seasonal crops and eggs. You can also stroll many of the area food festivals, such as a strawberry festival in the springtime or pumpkin picking in the fall.

Home Sweet Home

Bucks County is a place where people stay. It has that perfect mix of country escape and urban convenience. It is an excellent place to raise a family and grow old with a loved one. It is the perfect place to take in a movie or sample some award winning wines.

With a place so special to work, play and live in, you still need to see and experience it for yourself. Contact one of our realtors or start your search with Class-Harlan today. Our experienced and passionate agents are well versed in the area and will match you with your exact needs. We have been assisting buyers and renters of all incomes and requirements since 1963 and exceed our client’s expectations time and time again.

We are thrilled that you have included the Bucks County Area in your home search and we hope to hear from you soon.

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Not Sure What Style of Home You Are Looking For? Here is a Quick Real Estate Guide

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Single Family Home

A single family detached home is a free-standing residential building. Most single family homes are built on lots larger than the structure itself, adding an area surround the home known as the yard. Some single family homes have garages that are attached or detached or both. Some single family homes have driveways leading to the garages. Some driveways are private and some are shared with a neighbor.

There are advantages and disadvantages to single family detached homes. Advantages are that the entire space around the building is private to the owner and family, in some cases (depending on municipality zoning guidelines) you can add on to the existing house if more room is needed. Disadvantages of owning a single family detached home include being responsible for all maintenance and repair costs (interior and exterior).

Some single family detached homes are part of a subdivision and may be a member of a Home Owners Association being required to pay monthly, quarterly or annual fees (for things such as exterior maintenance of the property and/or grounds, insurance, snow and/or trash removal, etc.)

Multi-Family Home

Duplex or semi-detached homes are typically one building consisting of two separate “houses.” They may be side by side or one on top of another. Each often have separate entrances and typically without common inside areas. Each of the two houses typically has separate owners.

A town house is a house attached to any number of other town houses each of which may have multiple floors, commonly side by side each with their own separate entrances. Each such house has its own owner.

An Apartment Building is a building with multiple apartments. There can be multiple apartments on each floor and there are often multiple floors. Apartment buildings can range in many sizes, some with only a few apartments, others with hundreds of apartments on many floors, or any size in between. There are often inside hallways and inside entrances to each apartment, but outside entrances to each apartment are also possible. An apartment building can be owned by one party and each of the apartments rented to tenants or each of the apartments can be owned as a condominium by separate parties.

A Mixed Use Building is a building with space for both commercial, business or office use and space for residential use. Possible arrangements include the commercial/ businesses use on the first or first couple floors and one or more apartments or residential spaces on the upper floors. Another possibility is to have the commercial/business area up front and the residential area in the back. Some or maybe all of the space may be used by the owner or some or all of the business and residential units may be leased by the owner. Condominium ownership is also possible.

Condominium

Technically, a condominium is a collection of individual home units along with the land upon which they sit. Individual home ownership within a condominium is construed as ownership of only the air space confining the boundaries of the home. The boundaries of that space are specified by a legal document known as a Declaration, filed of record with the local governing body. Typically these boundaries will include the dry wall surrounding a room, allowing the homeowner to make some interior modification without impacting the common area. Anything outside this boundary is held in an undivided ownership interest by a corporation established at the time of the condominium’s creation. The corporation holds this property in trust on behalf of the homeowners as a group—it may not have ownership itself.

It is also possible for condominiums to consist of single family dwellings; so-called “detached condominiums” where homeowners do not maintain the exteriors of the dwellings, yards, etc. These structures are preferred by some planned neighborhoods and gated communities.

Styles of Homes

Land

In real estate, a lot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner(s). Possible owner(s) of a lot can be one or more persons or another legal entity, such as a corporation, organization, government or trust. A common form of ownership of a lot is called fee simple. Land, as in also true with buildings, may be required to fit certain zoning requirements as directed by the local municipality.

Like most other types of real estate, lots owned by private parties are subject to a periodic real estate tax payable by the owners to local governments such as a county or municipality. Real estate taxes are assessed based on the value of the real property.

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Ready to Sell in Bucks or Montgomery County? Consider These Tips!

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TIPS ON SELLING A HOME

tips on selling a home

Why are you moving?

The decision to sell your home is HUGE!  You’ll want to be sure all in your household, at least the decision making adults, are in agreement and understand what to expect throughout the process.   You might start by asking yourself WHY you’re thinking of selling.  Some common reasons people sell are…

  • Job Relocation
  • Retirement
  • Marriage/Divorce
  • Current home is too big
  • Current home is too small
  • Having a tough time keeping up with mortgage payments and/or expenses
  • What’s your reason for selling?

Confidence in, and commitment to, your decision to sell your home is the foundation upon which you’ll make countless decisions as you navigate the home selling, and perhaps, home purchase process.   Now that you’ve established WHY you want to sell, you’ll want to be sure you partner with the right Real Estate Professional to guide you through the process.   Not all Realtors are created equal!

OK, I know I need to list with a Real Estate Professional, but who?

When considering Class-Harlan Real Estate, it’s of the utmost important you understand the different types of representation and what our brokerage firm will offer you.

Unlike many Pennsylvania brokerages who routinely practice Dual Agency (the same licensee represents both Buyer & Seller in the same transaction), we at Class-Harlan Real Estate believe every Buyer and every Seller is entitled to the exclusive representation that can only be provided them by their own designated Buyer or Seller Agent.  For this reason Class-Harlan Real Estate practices Dual Agency WITH Designated Agency.  Under Designated Agency, the company may represent both Buyer and Seller in a single transaction; however, the Buyer and Seller will be represented by separate licensees within the company.  Therefore, as a matter of practice we do not represent both Buyer and Seller in the same transaction.  *An exception to this policy can/may occur from time to time with the written agreement of all parties. Ask your agent for further explanation.

Our TEAM approach at Class-Harlan Real Estate means all Class-Harlan licensees make a continued and good faith effort to find buyers for all Class-Harlan listings. All Class-Harlan agents have a fiduciary responsibility to their individual clients, Seller or Buyer, to negotiate the best terms and conditions on their behalf.

You’ll want to consider interviewing several Realtors before deciding who you will list your home with.  Consider jotting down a list of important questions to ask of each agent.  For example:

  • What’s their level of experience?
  • Are they a full or part-time agent?
  • What is their marketing plan for your home?
  • What can you realistically expect as a final sale price?
  • How will they keep you informed throughout the process?

Upon first or second meeting, your Class-Harlan Realtor will review the professional CMA (Competitive Market Analysis) they’ve prepared specifically for your home, discussing their marketing plan for your home, answering your questions and taking note of any specific needs or requests you may have.  We welcome and value your input.  After all, nobody knows your home like you do!  Ideally your relationship with your Realtor should be a partnership, thus be sure to ask your Realtor what contribution you can make to assure the timely, successful sale of your home.

Finally, determine if you have a level of comfort, both personally and professionally, in the agent you choose to represent you in the sale of your most valuable possession!  Once you’ve decided who to list your home with, don’t look back!  Take immediate steps to prepare your home, and all in your household, for the real estate marketing process.  Your agent will guide you.

What is the listing price going to be?

Determining the right asking price is crucial and should be based on market statistics (active/pending/sold comparable home sales), the location of the property and the condition of the property.  The timely sale of your home will be dependent on the extensive marketing activities that will take place as set up by your Marketing Agent (Listing Broker) as well as a reasonable list price based on the previously mentioned factors.

Your Class-Harlan Realtor will carefully analyze your property, comparing it to your home’s competition (the active listings), and the comparables (pending and sold listings) within your local marketplace.  We will take into consideration your home’s location as well as the assets and drawbacks your home offers a potential buyer.

Optionally, you have a right to order an appraisal before the property goes on the market. This may give you the most accurate current market value for your home. By doing all of the research prior to listing your home, you’ll know exactly what the value of your home is in today’s market as determined by a certified real estate appraiser.

How can I best prepare my home to market for sale?

Your agent will walk through your home with you and give you room by room suggestions of things you can do to make your home appeal to a potential Buyer. We can also recommend a home stager who will help you stage your home to highlight the best features of each room of your home!

Other than the obvious (thorough cleaning, wash all windows, fresh coat of paint inside or outside if needed, freshen up flower beds/landscape/gardens, clean out closets) please also consider the following:

  • Minimize clutter
  • Put away any personal photos and/or collectibles in the home so the Buyer is not distracted
  • Make sure all light fixtures are working, have the brightest possible light bulbs in them and turn on all lights for EVERY showing day or night
  • Remember “less is more”
  • Provide a list of “home features” or “home highlights” for Buyers. Your agent should help you with this by creating memorable, detailed marketing materials for prospective Buyers
  • Make sure you have a nice mailbox, seasonal flowers, freshly painted front door…curb appeal and first impressions are crucial

Making sure your home shows the absolute BEST it can from day #1 of the marketing period, is a huge factor in maximizing your final sale price. We call it “Pride of Ownership” and Buyers will notice from the moment they pull into your driveway!

tips on selling a home

How will my property be marketed?

We will share our complete marketing plan with you. Each one is custom for each property because EVERY property is different and requires a different approach. You can count on the basics:

  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
  • Print Advertising
  • com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com and many, many Internet Sites
  • Marketing through Social Media
  • Events including, but not limited to Open Houses and Broker Opens
  • Detailed promotional materials including, but not limited to: brochures, posters, post cards, flyers, presentation book, etc.

And much more!

Over 92% of real estate consumers go to the Internet first when searching for real estate. Your home will have a very strong presence on the Internet when marketed by the professionals at Class-Harlan Real Estate.

What happens when a Buyer submits an offer to purchase my home?

There are many important factors (terms) for you to consider when reviewing an offer to purchase your home:

  • Offer price
  • Date of Settlement/timing
  • Down payment
  • Financing arrangements, qualifications of Buyer
  • Inspection contingencies
  • Special Clauses
  • Other contingencies
  • Inclusions/Exclusions

And more!

Once we receive an offer package from a qualified Buyer, your agent will review every aspect of the offer with you in detail.  After reviewing the entire offer, you as Seller, have three options:  Accept the offer, Counter the offer, or Reject the offer.  We’ll guide you through this process which may involve negotiating, review of updated comparables and market statistics and perhaps discussions with outside vendors (lenders, inspectors, contractors, etc.)

Once we’ve accepted an offer, then what?

Most importantly, the clock begins ticking! Buyer and Seller have important time frames that must be met, per the Agreement of Sale (“time is of the essence clause”), and we’ll keep track of all of this for you.  You’ll want to prepare a list of all of the things you must do before closing. Your agent can share a list of dates/deadlines with you.  Buyer will be setting up inspections, applying for a mortgage, lining up appraisal, surveys, etc. This will involve you as you will have to make your home available and prepare it for inspections.  It is best that you are not present for inspections.

If each procedure/contingency (i.e. inspection, appraisal, etc.) brings satisfactory results to the Buyer (as defined in the contract), then the sale may continue.  If there are issues with the home revealed by the inspections, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step.  Depending on the contract, you or the Buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing.  Your agent will guide you through this process.

tips on selling a home

OK, so Buyer’s contingencies have been met, now what?

Start packing and make plans for your move! We have some resources to assist you if necessary.

Maintain your property as you have all along. If there are repairs that need to be made as a result of the inspections and further negotiations, have them completed in a “workmanlike manner.”  Pay those bills and keep all receipts! You’ll need to present them to the Buyer prior to or at closing.

Buyer may have a pre-settlement walk-thru a week to 10 days prior to closing and again 24-48 hours before closing to be sure the home is in the expected condition (as per the Agreement of sale).  All items that are supposed to be there should be there.  Any items that are not supposed to be there should be removed by the final walk-thru.  The Pennsylvania Agreement of Sale states that the entire property should be “broom clean and free of debris.”  Many Sellers have their home professionally cleaned which is a nice thing to do for your Buyer.  The Buyer, in many situations, may be moving in the day of Settlement!

Remember to have the utilities taken out of your name and/or turned off effective the END of the day of Settlement. Buyer will have them turned on in their name effective the beginning of the day of Settlement.

There may be necessary documents for you to complete on or by certain dates. Stay on top of this. There are conveyancing activities to be done which we will take care of for you such as:  Obtain mortgage and home equity loan pay-offs as well as payoffs for any other recorded liens, obtain HOA documents for transfer to buyer, obtain water/sewer and tax certifications, etc.

Settlement Day: What do I need?

As the Seller, you will need to be prepared to hand over any necessary documentation regarding the property including but not limited to: appliance warranties, paid receipts for work done, documents from the municipality, etc.

Bring two forms of I.D. (one photo i.d. is required), keys, checkbook (just in case), garage door “clickers,” any other pertinent documents (death certificates or Power of Attorney documents are sometimes needed). Your agent will discuss in more detail with you.

The Title Clerk conducts Settlement for both parties. There will be lots of paperwork for you to sign/initial and the Clerk will notarize everything. They will walk you through the process regarding your pay-offs, review the Closing Disclosure with you and make sure all appropriate documents are recorded at the Court House. They will give you your proceeds check!  Wire of funds is available directly to your bank.  Please let your agent know in advance if this is your preference.  If you are not able to attend closing let your agent know at least two weeks in advance of closing.  He/she can arrange for you to sign a “Sellers Package” prior to closing authorizing your agent to represent you at closing.

CONGRATULATIONS AND THANKS FOR CHOOSING CLASS-HARLAN REAL ESTATE!

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Top Real Estate Tips for Buying in Bucks County or Montgomery County

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TIPS ON BUYING A HOME

Tips on Buying a Home

Hire a Buyer’s Agent

Today’s home Buyers are savvy. Many have searched the Internet for areas to live and found homes for sale, but navigating the sites with property listings can be tricky. You need a Buyer’s Agent to help you find listings that meet your search criteria and assist you with the actual home buying process. Hiring a Buyer’s Agent is the best way to safeguard your investment and ensure that your best interests are protected. Making the wrong choice while purchasing real estate could put you in serious financial trouble.

Benefits of using a Buyer Agent include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Up-to-date access to real estate listings from the Agent, 24/7
  • Leverage, as the Buyer Agent will be doing a majority of the research
  • Expertise in Buyer’s target areas for property purchase
  • Skilled negotiating
  • Access to vendors (lenders, inspectors, contractors, etc.)
  • Professional Comparative Market Analysis on properties of interest.
  • Management of paperwork and processes (offer preparation, scheduling and attendance at inspections, morenegotiating, appraisals, financing details, conveyancing, etc.)
  • No fees for Buyer. Assuming the Buyer is buying property from a Seller cooperating with Realtors, the Buyer Agent’s commission is paid by the Seller!
  • Much, Much, More!

A study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), revealed that home Buyers who used a Buyer Agent previewed three more properties and found a home one week faster than Buyers who did not have a Buyer Agent looking out for their best interest.

Pre-Qualify for a Mortgage

Each mortgage program has its own set of requirements and rules. It is difficult for a Realtor to advise a Buyer on what they can truly afford for their home purchase with out careful analysis of your personal financial situation. Lenders and Realtors call this analysis “qualifying” or “pre-qualifying” for a mortgage. It is best that this be done with a reputable lender prior go going out and looking at homes.

By pre-qualifying for a given loan amount, you can comfortably shop for a home within your price range. In addition, prior credit approvals can expedite the closing of your loan AND your pre-qualifying letter provides your Buyer Agent and the Listing Agent and the Sellers with whom you will be working with the confidence that you are a determined and qualified Buyer! Having this document puts you in a stronger position to write an offer to purchase real property!

Tips on Buying a Home

Determine your Criteria

So you are prequalified and ready to begin your property search. How and where do you begin? It can be overwhelming and confusing. We will help you pinpoint homes that meet your search criteria based on what you are looking for and what is available within your price range. Some of the questions you may want to ask yourselves include:

  • What do I want to be close to (schools, transportation centers, shopping, parks, town center, hospital, etc.)?
  • How much space do I need and why (inside and out)?
  • Which is more important: location or size?
  • Would I be interested in a fixer upper?
  • What style of home is important to me (single family vs. twin/town home/condo)
    What features and amenities do I want? Which do I need?
  • You’ll find as you look at homes, your priorities may change during the process.

View Properties

Looking at homes is exciting and great fun (for most). It can be very stressful and time consuming if there are a lot of homes on the market that meet your search criteria. Be open minded and be prepared to take lots of notes. Many homes may look great in the photos on the MLS, but not so great in person and vice versa. Try not to see too many homes in one day, unless, of course, you are extremely limited in your time to locate and purchase a home.

After viewing homes, rate them while the features of that particular home are fresh in your mind. Prepare a short list of homes that you’d like to go back and view a second time. When you have found a home that you think might be THE ONE, drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day. Perhaps get out of the car and take a walk. Say “hello” to neighbors, etc. Do a “dry run” drive to work, schools or shopping centers to determine timing. You have probably already researched the schools and determined that they meet your requirements, but if you have not, now is the time. It is important that you check out all angles before making an offer, after all, this is likely to be one of the most expensive purchase you will ever make!

Carefully review the Seller’s Property Disclosure, the property’s tax history and any other important documents regarding the property. Consider visiting the township office to review documents on file pertaining to the property. Is it in a historic district or part of a planned community where there are rules and regulations that you need to be aware of? Is there construction planned for the area around the property in the future that you should be aware of?

Do not let anyone rush you into making an offer on a home if you are not sure. It has to “feel right.”

Write Offer

Making an offer is one of the most important steps in the home buying process. If you offer too much, the property might not appraise and this could interfere with your financing requirements. On the other hand, if you offer too little, the Seller may reject your offer.

Your Buyer Agent will guide you, based on factual information from a Comparative Market Analysis and market statistics on the appropriate terms of an offer to present to the Seller. Lets talk about what it takes to make such an offer when buying residential real estate. In particular, lets go over the steps that should take place when writing an offer:

  • The three basic components of your formal offer to purchase real estate are price, terms and contingencies.
  • Price is the dollar amount you are approved for, willing and able to pay.
  • Terms cover the financial timing and factors that will be included in the offer
  • Contingencies are clauses that let you out of the deal if the house has a problem that either didn’t exist or where not aware of when you offered to purchase the property. They specify any event that will need to take place in order for you to fulfill the contract (i.e. inspections, mortgage contingency, home sale contingency, etc.)

The Pennsylvania Agreement of Sale is a long, detailed, tedious document. Every paragraph of it should be explained to you by your Buyer Agent. There are a number of very important factors, one of them being “time is of the essence.” As you put terms and conditions and contingencies into the Agreement and IF they are agreed to by the Seller, it is up to the Agents to make sure all timeframes are met. This is one of the many, very important jobs of the Buyer Agent.

Negotiate

You have two goals in home buying negotiations: to get the best deal you can AND to get the house!

To achieve both, you may have to make a few concessions to the Seller. Before negotiations begin, discuss your priorities with your Buyer Agent…where are you willing to give in and where are you not willing to give in. Remember, it should be a win/win for both Buyer and Seller. It is not always about the price. Timing of Settlement may be important to the Seller. If possible, have your Buyer Agent find out what is important to the Seller ahead of time.

Be creative with your offer. A good Buyer’s Agent will help you “think outside of the box” and prepare and present an offer that will meet the requirements of the Buyer, yet appeal to the Seller. We are very good at this!

Tips on Buying a Home

Conduct Inspections & Review Disclosures

During the contingency period (typically 10-15 days from full execution of the Agreement of Sale), you will have the opportunity to hire experts to inspect the property (for example: home inspection, septic inspection, water test, wood infestation inspection, radon inspection, boundary survey, etc.) Just because you love a property doesn’t mean that it is perfect. You’ll need to have inspections (which you will pay for and we highly recommend you attend) that may bring hidden issues or material defects to your attention. At the end of the Inspection Contingency Period, you, typically, will have the opportunity to move forward with the purchase of the house, further negotiate with the Seller or walk from the Agreement of Sale.

Your main concern should be the possibility of structural damage. This could come from water damage, shifting round or, perhaps, poor construction when the house was built. Don’t sweat the small stuff. It is the Inspector’s job to bring all issues to your attention no matter how large or small. No property is perfect. The inspectors report will be long and detailed, but often times, issues can be easily fixed and can be overlooked for the time being. It is the material defects that you should be concerned about and have a right to further negotiate with the Seller about. If there is a serious defect, you may want to have a specialist look at it and give an estimate for repairs (for further negotiations with Seller) or worst case scenario, you may want to walk away from the purchase.

Even if your home passes the inspections, you’ll still need to buy a home owner’s insurance policy that protects you against loss or damage to the property itself and against liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property. This will also be a requirement for your financing.

Remove Contingencies

Simply put, it means that you are now saying that the particular contingency you are removing or waiving is no longer a part of the contract. This must be done in writing in the form of an Addendum to the Agreement of Sale prepared by your Buyer Agent.

After a Buyer has released all the contingencies in the contract, as performed within the required time frames, the Buyer is obligated to move forward with the purchase of the property. If the Buyer decides to cancel the contract, after signing a release of the contingencies, the Seller may have the right to demand the Buyer’s deposit moneys and may be entitled to liquidated damages.

Loan Documents and Title

During this time period, your lender will be requiring that you provide him with documentation (financials, etc.) for the bank to approve. Please provide these documents in a timely fashion. The bank will order an appraisal on the property. Once your loan has been approved and all conditions of the bank have been met and approved, a mortgage commitment will be prepared for your review and signature. This commitment must be given to the Seller (also within the timeframes as agreed upon in the Agreement of Sale.)

Your Buyer’s Agent will assist you in ordering title on the home you are purchasing. They will do a title search to make sure that you are purchasing a property with a clean title (no liens, etc.) The title company will work with the lender, the agents, the local municipality, etc. in preparing the Settlement documents and HUD1/Closing Statements. Settlement will be scheduled and all documents for the loan, the transfer of title, etc. will need to be signed by all parties and notarized. The Title Clerk will make sure that all parties have signed the correct documents and the transfer of title and monies is successfully completed by all parties. They also notify the local municipality and court house of the transfer of ownership and it becomes part of the county’s public records.

Once you have made your offer, successfully negotiated the outcome of the inspections, met the requirements for your loan, you are usually in the “home” stretch of the home buying process. But, in order to ensure that you don’t put your closing date or your mortgage at risk, you have a few pre-closing responsibilities that you’ll need to be mindful of. These include:

  • Staying in control of your credit and finances. If you are tempted to make any large purchases, during this time, it is best to talk to your lender first.
  • Keeping in touch with your Agent and Lender, returning all phone calls and completing all paperwork promptly.
  • Communicating with your Agent at least once or twice a week and verifying with your lender that all mortgage funding steps are completed.
  • Conducting a final walk-through of the home with your Agent (typically 24-48 hours prior to Settlement.)
  • Confirming with your Agent, Home Insurance Professional, and Lender that you have the Settlement Statement, certified funds, and evidence of insurance lined up prior to closing.

Congratulations on your purchase… Welcome to Home Ownership!

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