After the Home Purchase Contract is Completed
You have signed the contract-what's next?
What is Escrow? In South Carolina, we more often use the term 'Under Contract' or 'Pending'. Escrow begins when the earnest money deposit and purchase offer is accepted by the seller. Escrow ends when the new owner is registered in the county records. Your closing attorney will file the deed shortly after the close.
Closing Attorney: In North and South Carolina, attorneys handle the closing of properties. Typically the buyer selects the attorney. The attorney researches the complete recorded history of the property, to make sure that the title is free and clear of all encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. They obtain Homeowner Association information for your records and review surveys for encroachments and easements. The attorney will contact you to get all the information about your mortgage, any equity lines or second mortgages, and other personal inform needed.
Inspections: In North and South Carolina, buyers have the right to have a wide variety of property inspections to determine the property's condition. Inspections may include roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, HVAC systems, or mold. Expect that the inspections will uncover some defects. If so, the buyer (under the constraints of the contract) will ask for repairs. We receive a copy of all inspection reports and review the details with you. Repairs are a negotiable item and both parties are provided certain rights under the SC Offer To Purchase. The negotiation of repairs and how they are handled is a critical step in the pre-closing process and the experience and negotiation skills we provide can provide a competitive edge.
Appraisal: The lender's mortgage company will order an appraisal. Appraisers MUST use recent home sales that are comparable to your home to establish an opinion of market value. The appraised value, in most cases, MUST support the contract sales price.
Contingencies: Most purchase agreements provide the buyer with specific amounts of time to inspect the property and obtain financing and insurance before they must actually complete their purchase of the property. At the successful conclusion of each of these milestones, the buyer moves one step closer to the close.
Timing your Move: Based on our experience with transactions similar to yours, we can recommend when it is time for you to start packing, Too soon, and you risk having your house in upheaval in the unlikely event an offer falls apart or when we need to begin showing your home to prospective buyers again.
Final Walk-Through Inspection: Shortly before closing, the buyer will visit for the final walk through. This inspection is to ensure that the property's condition is in the same condition as when the offer was made and to verify any repairs are properly made. We will receive a sign-off from the buyer verifying the property's condition and to document that you transferred the property in satisfactory condition.
Canceling Home Services and Utilities: We can provide a list of phone numbers for local utilities and services. It is important that you arrange to have them terminated as of the closing date.
If Things Get Complicated: Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan. Perhaps something in the house breaks at the last moment, or the buyers loan won't close on schedule. Because we have experienced, we are able to offer options to help make your transaction as smooth as possible.
Closing: As soon as the attorney has all the financial information related to the closing, they will release a preliminary closing statement the summary of all the financial details (pro-rations and all the transaction-related costs.) We will review the statement for accuracy and go over the details with you. At closing, you will sign the final documents and receive the proceeds from the sale. The attorney will also make payments to approved parties such as General Contractors or warranty companies. When everything is complete, the attorney records the transaction for you and the buyer at the County Recorders Office.