This is where you wrap up all the details. You want to go through all the details to protect your new investment. Following are the items that must be completed prior to the close of escrow:
Obtaining the Mortgage: If a condominium purchase is going to fall through, financing is most likely where it will happen. You need to ensure you are approved for your loan prior to closing. You will find details about this process in our mortgage section.
Closing Costs Closing costs vary from property to property. But the law requires that the lender provide you with a good faith estimate when you apply for a loan.
Appraisal: Part of the loan process is getting an appraisal of the property. Often the lending institution will send an appraiser whose responsibility it is to make and educated opinion on the value of the property. At the end of the process you receive an appraisal report which is the estimate in writing including the factual basis and the method of reasoning used to form the estimate.
Inspection: A home inspection is generally a contingency in the buyer’s contract. If you are getting funding from a lender they require it prior to funding the loan. It is in your best interest to hire a qualified home inspector to carefully look over the property. Either you or your agent should tag along with the inspector. At the end of the inspection you will receive an inspection report.
Title search: To ensure that the title of the property is free and clear the lending institution requires a title search before issuing the loan. The search is the process of researching the current state of title by a title company. The title company issues a title report identifying the current owner of record, the estate under which the title is held and all the encumbrances of record affecting title. This forms the factual basis from which the title company will offer title insurance. If there are any liens or lawsuits the seller must clear them up prior to closing.
Insurance: Before issuing a loan a lending institution will require you obtain homeowners insurance. As a condo owner, you will obtain a certificate of insurance, which covers your unit and/or your personal property within the unit depending on how the policy is written.
Walk-Through: You are entitled to a final walk-through of the property prior to signing the closing papers. We highly recommend you do this because it provides the final opportunity to ensure all of the items for which the sale is contingent have been completed. Schedule your walk through as close to the closing date a possible, preferable after the seller has moved out.
Move out Date: To protect your investment, you want the premises to be vacant upon closing. To ensure that this happens we recommend you make it a contingency to close and establish a firm move out date from the seller.