Knowing What To Expect.
1. Professional Licensed Realtors® help Buyers and Sellers Find Each Other.
Realtors® help sellers list their property and prepare it for the market, while helping buyers to find the right property, make an offer, and prepare a contract. Once the contract is signed, Realtors® continue to work closely with their clients and with Barnes Walker to make sure that the transaction closes.
2. Getting All the Information Up Front Makes the Closing Easier.
Barnes Walker wants to identify and resolve potential problems early on and prevent last-minute obstacles later in the closing process. Having certain information ready the first time you contact us for your closing helps us do just that:
• Copy of Contract for Sale & Purchase.
• Buyer’s and seller’s full names, addresses, phone numbers, and SSNs.
• Name of buyer’s lender, and the name and phone number of the loan officer.
• Seller’s current lender, loan number, and lender’s telephone number.
• Seller’s prior title policy and survey.
• Name, address, and phone number of any HOA or Condominium Association.
• Seller’s forwarding address after closing.
3. Experienced Professional Staff Will Coordinate Your Closing.
A closing involves many different parties, including buyers and sellers, Realtors®, lenders, insurance companies, surveyors, inspectors, and County officials such as the Tax Collector. Barnes Walker’s experienced, professional staff will coordinate between all these parties to make your closing smooth and hassle-free.
4. Importance of Title Review and Insurance.
Purchasing a home can be the biggest investment a person ever makes, and Barnes Walker recognizes the importance of protecting that investment. A thorough title search should identify everyone who can claim an interest in real property, such as owners, creditors, lien-holders, or easement holders, including parties or problems sellers themselves may be unaware of. A final title policy then protects buyers and their lenders in case of problems not discovered until after closing. In case of such problems, your title insurer will pursue and defend clear title or provide reimbursement if title cannot be cleared, pursuant to the terms of the policy. Barnes Walker’s experienced staff carefully searches and examines title before every closing.
At The Closing Table
1. Closing Documents.
A closing requires a sometimes bewildering array of documents. Barnes Walker coordinates the proper preparation and execution of all the necessary papers, and our knowledgeable staff is happy to answer all your questions about these documents:
• Settlement Statement/Closing Disclosure contains all financial information for the closing, including sales price, loan figures, and all costs, as specified by the contract and loan documents.
• Warranty Deed-transfers title to the property from the seller to the buyer. • Promissory Note-buyer’s promise to repay the loan to purchase the property; also contains an explanation of the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, duration of the loan, and amount and due date of payments.
• Mortgage-lien on the property given to the lender to secure repayment of the loan.
• Miscellaneous Documents-any other documents required by the lender and Barnes Walker to complete the closing.
2. Average Closing Costs:*
While Barnes Walker makes every effort to keep costs low, parties can expect certain costs in every closing. (*Actual costs are determined by the parties’ contract & each closing’s specific requirements.)
• Satisfaction of existing liens (including mortgages, judgments, tax liens, and outstanding assessments).
• Real estate commission.
• Proration of unpaid real estate taxes and association dues for year of sale.
• County documentary stamp tax on Deed: $.70 per $100 of purchase price.
• Home Warranty, if applicable.
• Loan financing fees (including fees for application, credit report, appraisal, document preparation and escrow).
• Survey (average between $250-$350).
• Home and pest inspection fees ($250-$450).
• Base Loan Closing Fee: $445.00.
• County documentary stamp tax on Note: $.35 per $100 of loan amount.
• County intangible tax on Mortgage: $.20 per $100 of loan amount.
• County recording fee for deed & mortgage: 1st page-$10.00; each additional page-$8.50.
• Homeowners’ insurance premiums.
• Proration of pre-paid real estate taxes and association dues for year of sale.
• Endorsements to the lending policy as applicable.
Costs Negotiable Between Buyer & Seller:
• Title Insurance:
+ Premiums: About $575 per $100,000 of sale price.
+ Title Search Fee: $75.00.
+ Base closing Fee: $350.00.
Barnes Walker will be happy to provide you with a personalized quote for these costs.
3. Collection and Disbursement of Funds:
Barnes Walker collects all monies in an escrow account, including the buyer’s deposit, loan proceeds, and down payment, and promptly disburses these funds to all the parties who must be paid (e.g. the seller, the seller’s lender, the Realtors®, and the County Clerk’s office).
Barnes Walker will provide buyers with information on applying for the homestead property tax exemption limiting the annual increase in taxes to three percent (3%) per year. Homeowners must apply by March 1st of the year in which they wish to receive the exemption. Qualifying for the exemption automatically reduces the appraised taxable value of a home a minimum of $25,000 up to $50,000, depending on the purchase price, as well as capping annual increases.
Immediately after closing, Barnes Walker will record the Deed, Mortgage and other necessary documents in the County land records. Within a few days of closing, buyers will be able to see their recorded deed online. (www.manateeclerk.com for Manatee County; www.sarasotaclerk.com for Sarasota County).
(Courtesy of Barnes Walker Title.) The above article is not an endorsement of the authors. Buyers must choose which title company to use.