From Under Contract to Close

GETTING IN TOUCH WITH US

Our primary phone number is 303-331-1556. Since this number rings directly into our office, one of us will usually answer your call. If we are on another line or out of the office, your call will automatically go into voice mail. Please leave a message on voice mail and one of us will call you back as promptly as possible. All of our land and cell lines route to the same voicemail, so one message is all that is required. Our cell phones notify us of a message if we’re out of the office. You may also use the general office number of 303-320-1556 and the Re/Max of Cherry Creek receptionist can route your call. For your convenience, during business hours we also have a toll free number: 1-800-765-7110.

You can also reach us by email at teamhet@thedenversite.com. For many of our clients email correspondence is more convenient than the telephone. When we’re in the office we receive email notification immediately. So, please feel free to communicate in whatever manner is most convenient for you!

EARNEST MONEY

The Buyer’s earnest money check will usually be cashed within 24 hours after we have placed your home under contract. Remax of Cherry Creek holds the funds in an escrow account and Steve will bring them to closing.

BUYER’S LOAN

If applicable, we will follow the Buyer’s mortgage process closely by staying in regular contact with the loan originator. Initially we want to make certain that the loan application is complete and there is no apparent adverse documentation. The appraiser will call to arrange a time to see your home after they receive an order from the lender. We will meet the appraiser at your house to provide helpful information such as the marketing brochure and appropriate comparables. When we verify that the appraisal contingency is removed we will begin coordinating the final closing logistics for transmission of information from the lender to title company to ensure a seamless, timely closing.

PROPERTY INSPECTION

Per contract, the Buyer will be provided with the Seller’s Property Disclosure that you completed as part of the listing paperwork. Most Buyers will hire an inspector(s) – which may include radon testing, sewer scope, structural, mold, or just a general inspection.

The Buyer must notify you by the Inspection Objection Deadline if they have any issues for which they are requesting corrections. Even the most perfect homes will usually have a few inspection items that will need to be negotiated. Generally speaking, it is customary to attend to “safety and habitability” matters. We’ll help you negotiate a reasonable resolution and coordinate contractors to do work, if necessary. Sometimes inspection items can be resolved with a Buyer credit at closing.

We will call you to schedule the inspection as soon as we receive notice from the Buyer’s agent. It is important that you have your house in the same condition, as it would be for a showing. You want the Buyer to fall in love with your house all over again! It usually takes at least 2 hours for a general inspection so plan to be away from the house for 3 hours. If possible, take any dogs with you. If you have a burglar alarm, leave it just as you did for showings. If anything will be different in this regard, please let us know so we can let the other agent know. Steve will not be present for the inspection unless we also represent the Buyer or there is some unusual circumstance regarding your property. The Buyer’s agent will accompany the buyers and the house inspector. Please leave applicable keys – to garage door openers, electrical breaker box, storage rooms, etc. in a visible location.

After the inspection, you may find the inspector has left a radon test behind in your home. (Usually we’ll know this in advance) They generally leave instructions to not move the test and to keep the house closed up as best as you can. (They can tell if you “tamper” with the test.) If you think it will be a problem to follow the instructions (such as keeping the house closed up during warm weather), let us know and we will try to make special arrangements with the inspector.

THE TITLE COMPANY AND TITLE INSURANCE

We will order the title insurance required for your transaction. Unless you have a title company you prefer, we will order the insurance from Equity Title Company.

The title company will conduct a title search and issue a commitment for title insurance. The commitment will be distributed to the lender, both agents, the Buyer and the Seller. In Colorado title companies usually prepare the settlement sheets, the deed and all the real estate paperwork (but not the loan docs), conduct the closing making sure all forms are properly signed and notarized if necessary and, finally disburse all funds and record appropriate real estate and loan documents. When this has been completed the title company issues the title insurance policy to the buyer, insuring that you have conveyed good title to the property.

When you receive your commitment, probably in the mail, please take a moment to review it:

Schedule A lists the Title Company charges for insurance. The insurance fee you pay (at closing) is the “Owner’s Premium.” The Buyer usually pays all of the additional insurance charges that are required by their lender. Note: If you have owned your house less than 2 years or have recently refinanced, you may be entitled to a discount on the insurance premium. Please let us know if either of these situations applies so we can make the title company aware.

Schedule B contains title requirements. In the process of doing this search, the title company will pick up any problems such as tax liens, judgments, etcetera for anyone with your same name or a similar name. In Section 1, don’t be alarmed if you see liens that are not yours. These errors can normally be cleared with a little investigation. If not, the title company will prepare an affidavit for you to sign at closing attesting that these are not your liens. We will be in touch with you if this is required. Section 2 lists exceptions to the insurance coverage the title company will issue. The buyer will review this section carefully and has the right to object to unacceptable encumbrances, by the Title Objection Deadline. This is not a common occurrence, but if there were to be an issue raised we will contact you immediately.

The title company may include copies of tax certificates, Affidavit and Indemnity or other documents. There may be documents in this package that appear to require your signature. They are included for your information only. You will sign these documents at closing.

MORTGAGE PAYMENTS ON YOUR LOAN

Generally speaking, if your closing is scheduled prior to the 15th of the month, you may choose not to make your payment since the loan should be paid off prior to the payment becoming delinquent. If, however, closing is scheduled in the second half of the month it is best to make your payment promptly on the 1st of the month. Your payment should then be reflected in the final payoff statement obtained by the title company for use preparing the closing settlement sheet. In either case, if you make a payment that is not reflected on the payoff statement from your lender, the lender will reimburse to you any overpayment. They will also disburse to you any funds remaining in your escrow account after receipt of the principal payoff.

UTILITIES

You will need to make arrangements to discontinue or transfer, as of the possession date, your electric, gas, cable, telephone and any other pay services. Because water can be a lien on the property if not paid, the title company will arrange to transfer the water service for you so you do not need to call the water department. We will send you a reminder letter before closing with applicable phone numbers.

Regarding telephone service, Qwest’s general Customer Service number is 1-800-244-1111. It is a good idea to call a couple of weeks in advance to make arrangements for telephone service changes, particularly is you need to transfer your service.

HAZARD INSURANCE

Cancel the hazard insurance on your property as of the date of buyer’s possession (or when your possessions arrive in your new home). It is usually best to wait until immediately after the closing to do this just in case the closing is delayed for some reason. You may receive a partial refund of your premium, depending on your insurance anniversary date. Be sure to tell your insurance company your forwarding address and ask them to send the refund directly to you and not to your lender.

PROPERTY ACCESS

In addition to the inspection there may be times when the buyer will want to come back into the house (sometimes with visiting family member or a contractor.) We will try to keep this to a minimum but encourage you to be “reasonably cooperative” to maintain a spirit of goodwill. Their agent must always accompany them; we will never give the Buyer the lock box combination. If for some reason they should stop by without an appointment or without their agent, you are not obligated to let them in the house. Just explain that they need to call us in order to get back into the property.

As mentioned above, Steve will meet the appraiser, if applicable. This usually takes 15 – 30 minutes. We will try to give you as much warning as possible as to when this will occur. Leave the house in the same condition as for showings (including alarms and pets). Again, it really is best if you are not home for the appraisal.

For gaining access, it is usually easiest to leave the lock box in place until closing. However, if the time until closing is unusually long or you are uncomfortable having the box on your door, let us know and we can move it to a less conspicuous location or remove it altogether.

WALK THROUGH

The Buyer has the right to walk through the property a day or two before the closing just to make sure you completed any inspection items and to make sure the property is in “the same condition as when you signed the contract, normal wear and tear excepted.” Not all Buyers ask to do this. If they do, we’ll try to give you as much warning as possible. Again please leave the house in showing condition. Understandably, you may be in the midst of packing!

SHOWINGS

Customarily, we will notify our office that your house is “under contract taking backups” immediately after your house is placed under contract. This means that anyone who calls to show the house will be told they may do so if they feel their buyer would be interested in making a back up offer. Few agents will show a home that is already under contract. Just in case, however, it is best to continue to keep your home is reasonable showing condition during this period. Once the inspection is resolved and we feel confident that all is going well with the loan, we will generally place your house solidly under contract and cease further showings. If you would like to stop showings once you’re under contract and prior to inspection resolution, please let us know.

THE SOLD SIGN

Again, we usually wait until after inspection resolution to put up a sold sign. If you have a reason you would like your sold sign earlier or later than this, please let us know.

KEYS AND POSSESSION

At the time of buyer’s possession you are expected to be completely moved out of your house and to have left it in a clean and orderly condition. If something comes up that will make it difficult for you to give possession per contract, let us know immediately. It is generally expected that you will provide the buyer with a set of keys at the closing if you are giving them possession at closing or shortly thereafter. If you have arranged for a delayed possession date and don’t feel comfortable giving the Buyer a set of keys at closing, just let us know and we will make arrangements at the closing to get the keys to the Buyer at a later date.

CLOSING INFORMATION

Well in advance we will contact you to arrange a closing time that is convenient for you. Generally all parties to the transaction close together, but we can make alternative arrangements, if necessary. A week to ten days prior to closing we’ll send you a letter with a closing checklist and directions to the closing location (usually our office). A day or two before the closing (hopefully) you will receive your settlement sheet (the financial part of the transaction). If you have any questions be sure to ask us immediately. And, last but not least, please be sure to bring your driver’s license for identification purposes.

FAXES

One final note; please know that we will never fax anything to your office or a public place without your notification and permission. We realize that there are many eyes near fax machines – we’d like to keep your business as your business.