Answers to frequently asked questions
What is title insurance?
Title insurance protects the named insured against loss because of defects, liens, encumbrances, adverse claims or other matters not shown or disclosed to the new owner that attach before date of policy.
What is a wood-destroying organism inspection report?
A wood-destroying organism inspection report is a written opinion by a qualified state licensed structural pest control inspector based upon what was visible and evident at the time of inspection. The inspection report does not in any way represent or guarantee the structure to be free from wood-destroying organisms or their damage, nor does it represent or guarantee that the total damage or infestation is limited to that disclosed in the report. Wood-destroying organisms include subterranean termites, dampwood termites, carpenter ants, wood boring beetles and wood decay fungus.
What are the hazards of lead-based paint?
All buyers and sellers are required by law to receive and read a pamphlet outlining the hazards of lead-based paint for homes built before 1978. Be sure to ask your real estate agent for a copy.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are an accumulation of charges paid to different entities associated with the buying and selling of real estate. For sellers, they are usually about 9.5-10% of the total sales price of a property. Some of the closing costs you might encounter are: discount points, escrow fee, documentation fee, homeowners' association fees, pest/rot inspection, real estate commission and title insurance premium.
What is the difference between "pre-qualified" and "pre-approved"?
If a buyer is "pre-qualified" it has been determined, with a loan officer, what price the buyer can afford based on the down payment, debts and the amount the mortgage company will approve for the mortgage. Being "pre-qualified" is only a determination of probable credit. If "pre-approved", credit, employment and funds have been approved by the lender.
What should a home inspection include?
Every inspection should include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the following:
- 1. Foundations
- 2. Roof
- 3. Heating and air conditioning systems
- 4. Ventilation
- 5. Common areas (for condominiums)
- 6. Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines*
- 7. Insulation
- 8. Plumbing and electrical systems
- 9. Ceiling, walls and floors
- 10. Doors
- 11. Hazardous materials concerns*
* There may be an additional fee for this.
What property details are usually included by Listing Services?
Usually, properties listed will include the following details:
- Annual property tax
- Current financing (when assumable)
- Listing company
What pages are generally included in the Purchase and Sales Agreement?
- Agency Disclosure
- Financing Addendum/Clause
- Earnest Money Receipt
- Conditions/Disclosures Addendum
- Addendum Outlining Special Conditions
- Lead-Base Paint Notification
- Property Disclosure Form (completed by Sellers)
What is the difference between a REALTOR® & Real Estate Agent?
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REALTOR® identifies real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® may be an appraiser, property manager or involved in some other aspect of the real estate business.