Buying a home can be a stressful experience but a good real estate agent can take away much of that stress and make it a FUN process. How so?
Our clients tell us we make it seamless for them because we partner with great vendors who care as much about you the buyer as we do. From the lender to the title company to the inspector to other vendors you may need we have that covered in advanced. These are people who have worked with us and our clients and have consistently delivered exceptional service. Our standards are high and we expect the same with our preferred partners – if that level of service drops we have others wanting to be on our preferred vendor list. Our clients are the most important asset in our business and we commit our time, professionalism and expertise to you.
What comes after the acceptance?
If you submitted earnest money with your offer that will then be delivered to the title company along with signed purchase documents and escrow will be opened. Sometimes an offer is written so that earnest monies will be wired to title upon contract acceptance. If that is the case the title company will be notified to send wiring instructions to you. It is important that earnest money is deposited timely. The title company will email a receipt for the earnest money deposit – usually within 24 hours of receipt. Now the fun begins…
- If you are financing your new home we will provide your lender with a copy of the purchase contract documents and we will be requesting an LSU (loan status update) for the seller. That is contractually required within five days of contract acceptance and may be required on a weekly basis until closing. We work closely with the lender to ensure underwriting is on track as loan documents are required to be at the title company at least three days prior to closing. If your lender cannot meet that requirement you will be in breach of contract and may lose your earnest money. We have already had this conversation with you prior to making the offer on the home.
- The title company will do a preliminary search to ensure clear title. You will receive updates and information throughout the process from the title company. Title will need your email address which we provide so that they can have the HOA (homeowner association) if there is one in your neighborhood email the CC&Rs and other HOA info to you. Title will also need a copy of your drivers license with photo.
- The purchase contract standard language provides you with ten days to conduct your home inspections and due diligence. Unless the contract specifies otherwise all inspections (home, termite, roof, etc.) must be complete within ten days. The inspector will contact you directly to go over his contract and pricing. You will sign that contract authorizing him to do the work and pay him directly. The inspector(s) will provide a written summary at the end of the inspection and a full report and will go over it with you to discuss his findings and answer any questions you have. Within that ten day period we will discuss any repairs that you may want to ask the seller to replace or repair and prepare the BINSR (Buyer Instruction Seller Response) which is the required Arizona form to request those repairs in writing. Once signed we send to the seller’s agent for a response. The seller has up to 5 days to respond in writing. You then have up to 5 days from date of their response to move forward with the purchase or if you do not agree with their response you can elect to cancel the contract and receive your earnest money deposit refunded.
- During the inspection feel free to bring along a tape measure. You will be at the home for an hour or more and this is the time to do any measuring you may want to have done.
- Once the repairs are agreed upon, your lender will order an appraisal. If you are a cash buyer we will have already discussed whether you want to order an appraisal on the property. Most of our cash buyers do not have the home appraised but you can elect to do one and we disclose that at the time the offer is written.
- Within 5 days of contract acceptance the seller’s agent will provide the SPDS (Seller Property Disclosure Statement) if available and the CLUE (insurance claims history report). Sometimes the SPDS is what we call “limited” – all questions may not be answered if the seller has not lived in the home and does not know the answers. We will work for you to get as much information from the seller as we can. It is not legal for the seller to knowingly withhold information that can be a material factor in whether you buy the home. That information will be covered in another blog.
- Title company will order the HOA documents associated with the property you are buying. It is very important that you review and read the CC&R’s as they are binding documents that will tell you what you can and cannot do with the home. For example, some HOA’s will not allow any overnight parking on the street or they may not allow boats or other similar items to be parked at the property. Some do not allow motor homes to be parked for more than 24 to 48 hours so you need to read and understand the covenants governing the neighborhood where you are buying.
- If you asked for and the seller agreed to a home warranty we will provide you with two companies to research online. Once you choose a company we order the policy and the invoice is sent to the title company for payment at closing. The premium comes out of your side or the sellers side depending on how the contract was written.
- You will need to contact your insurance company to obtain insurance on the home.
- We will provide a list of utility companies. Once you are through the inspection period and are moving ahead with the contract you can call anytime and give them your closing date as the date the utilities transfer to your name. The seller will also be calling giving them their forwarding address for the final bill.
- Complete a change of address form with the postal service and your vendors.
- As we move into the final week prior to closing it is important that your lender is or has already sent the loan documents to the title company. Title will send a HUD statement for review. The HUD is the detailed itemized statement showing the purchase price and all debits and credits associated with the purchase. It will give you the total amount due at closing.
- Final Walk Through – we will schedule a time a day or two prior to closing to conduct a final walk through of the property. We will have obtained receipts for repairs and this is your time to verify that those repairs were done and take another look at the home to ensure it is in the same condition as when you made the offer.
- This is something different in Arizona than in many other states. The closing per se is uneventful. If you live in the east for example you are most likely used to going to an attorney’s office where both buyers and sellers are present and everyone signs at the same time. In Arizona, the title company will schedule separate appointments for the buyer and seller to come in and sign. If you aren’t in town for signing title will send documents via UPS or Fed Ex and you will sign, have notarized and overnight back in an envelope they provide. Same process with the sellers. On the “day of closing” everything has been signed, funds are in the title company escrow account and title reviews the file the day of closing and then releases it to the county to record. Recording can take place anytime between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The home is not officially yours until we have notice of recording. That is when you receive the keys and can begin moving in.
You now have the keys to your new home! You will no doubt have questions that arise during the next few weeks. If your neighborhood is gated you will need to go to the Patrol or Security Office to obtain the necessary device to come and go through the gate. You will need proof of home ownership so keep your title papers handy. They will need the page that shows the prior owner, you as the new owner and a photo ID. HOA’s are all different in what they require so it is a good idea to check ahead of time to see what is required.
Some HOA’s require a homeowner card. You will have many boxes to discard upon unpacking. A phone call to the waste management company to see if they will pick up and recycle will be helpful. Sometimes the moving company has a box pick up option. And no doubt you will be needing recommendations for a handyman or contractor. Again, our preferred vendor list is invaluable to clients. Over and over again clients tell us how much they appreciate making one phone call to get this information. It saves them time and they are confident that the service is going to be professional.
The Kolb Team
If this information has been helpful and you are looking for a professional real estate team to help you with buying or selling a home in Arizona The Kolb Team is here for you. We are a top producing real estate team specializing in active adult communities in the East Valley of the Phoenix Area. Contact us for more information. Search for homes on our website or check out our Sun Lakes Arizona facebook page. We know the active adult market and we would be delighted to answer your specific questions.