FAQs

  • BUYING A HOME
  • SELLING A HOME
When buying a house, you should become as educated as possible about the house itself and the neighborhood in which it is located. How conveniently located are such amenities as grocery stores, hospitals, childcare, highways and public transportation? How long will your commute be?
 
With regards to the house itself, make sure to check the structure itself and all appliances to make sure that everything is stable and in good working order. Make sure to view the house both from the interior and exterior. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has put this helpful checklist for homebuyers as they narrow their search.
 
Make sure to compile the appropriate paystubs any other information necessary in order to secure your loan and to shop around for the best rate.
 
On the day of the closing, make sure to bring all the appropriate documents. A valid driver license or passport, a cashier’s check for any down payment and copies of your homeowner’s insurance are generally the required items for a buyer to bring. Your closing agent will typically be the person coordinating the close—feel free to contact them with any questions you have prior to the close.
Before you sell your home, do what you can to increase the salability of the home. Consider making small fixes or renovations that would push up the selling price. When the time comes to begin showing the house, tidy up the inside and manicure the outside to make the home as appealing as possible. Depending on the age of your house, having a professional perform an inspection could be a good idea in order to discover and fix any issues that might be discovered when the buyers have their own inspection performed.
 
Research your neighborhood and the home prices of homes similar to yours. If you are confident, set your own price, or employ the services of a certified appraiser. You must also choose whether you want to have a real estate agent act on your behalf or sell the house yourself. A real estate agent will take care of many of the miscellaneous issues that arise during the sale of a home and share their sales and real estate expertise, but they do charge a commission for their services. You must also decide whether you’d like to engage a lawyer, who can help you draft any paperwork and who can be on call in the event of any unexpected circumstances. For more information about real estate law services, feel free to visit the Holfinger Law Office website.
 
After the offer, counteroffer, and any other negotiations over home repairs, the time for the closing arrives. Make sure to maintain the house in good condition and to notify the appropriate utilities companies to the date when services should be cut off.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance protects against financial loss that would result from the discovery of a previously unknown defect to the title. A previous mortgage or lien, a forged document, an undisclosed heir, or any number of other issues that cannot be discovered by a title search can disrupt the ownership of a piece of land or a home.
 

What is a title search?

A title search examines the historical records of a plot of land. The search allows parties to a transaction to be fully aware of any and all interests that apply to that land.
 

When should I buy title insurance?

Title insurance is an integral part of real estate transactions because it protects all the parties involved from the losses and inconvenience that can result from the discovery of title defects. It is purchased as part of the closing, and is a one-time premium.  Your policy protects you for the duration of your ownership.
 

How much does title insurance cost?

In most states, the rate premium for title insurance is regulated by the State's Department of Insurance. That means that the premium you will pay will be the same throughout the state for each type of policy. 
In other states, the title insurance underwriters file their rates with the State, and there might be small differences in the premium cost, depending on the underwriting company. 

 

Does the title insurance agency handle the closing?

Yes, your title agency helps you navigate the closing process. From managing the title and mortgage lending documents, conducting the closing, to handling the receipt and disbursement of all the funds in a transaction, a good title partner can help streamline the process for all parties involved.