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Buyer's Guide​ | Buyer’s Escrow, Inspections + Appraisals

Accepted Offer And Earnest Money Deposit

Your Future Address agent will always present offers in writing.   Written offers take precedence over verbal agreements.

What you can expect as a buyer:

  • We will provide you with copies of all essential documents and  will assist you in handling all necessary paperwork for your purchase.
  • Once your offer has been accepted, a timeline will be established for both you and the seller to complete everything needed to close the contract. Both parties can help ensure a smooth process by completing all steps on time.  Failure to do so could put you in breach of the contract. We will keep you informed through every stage of the process, so you always know what is next.

Closing Agent

Usually a title company or, in some cases, an attorney will be chosen as the closing agent. The closing agent is responsible for researching the history of the property to determine if the title is free and clear of encumbrances, and for ensuring that any new encumbrance is properly added to the title by closing.  He holds the earnest money deposit in escrow during this time.  Properties can be subject to zoning or other restrictions which require the owner to comply with building or parking rules.  Some properties have encroachments or easements which can limit the right to use your property. The closing agent is responsible for ensuring there are no last-minute surprises on the day of closing.

Before you title your property, we recommend you consult an attorney or tax advisor.  There are different implications for your estate, taxes, and other legalities based on the way a property is titled.  This is especially true when selling a property or upon the death of a title holder.

Property Inspection

After the seller accepts your offer,  it is time to have the property inspected. Always use a licensed property inspector who will work within the agreed upon timeframe in the contract. There are different inspectors who specialize in specific areas (e.g. roof, HVAC, structure) , and you may wish to have professional opinions from more than one.  Environmental audits are required on site when purchasing commercial property. We can recommend several different inspectors who are experts in different types of properties.  Inspection fees are the responsibility of the buyer.

Based on the results of these inspections:

  • All contingencies are removed, and both parties proceed toward close, or
  • After reviewing the property inspection report, the buyer renegotiates the terms of contract (usually the price).

Property Appraisal

We suggest you maintain close communication with your lender during the appraisal and lending process. They will advise you if they need any additional documents to approve your loan application.  The lending institution needs confirmation that funding your loan is a good investment so, if your contract is conditional based on financing,  a licensed appraiser will  appraise the property.  A third-party appraiser will determine the value of the property based on a combination of factors.  These include square footage measurements, area building costs, operating income and recent comparable sales in the area. We recommend checking with your lender when you are within two weeks of closing to verify your  loan will close on time without complications.


When purchasing a property that requires association approval, you should request the association rules and  regulations, as well as any other important documents, from the seller as soon as the property is under contract. Return all necessary fees and application documents to the association by its deadline. Make sure all forms are completed and legible so processing your application is not delayed.   If the association requires an interview, make an appointment promptly. Sometimes associations require an approval certificate to move in.  Make sure to bring  the original copy of this approval letter to the closing. Along with the deed, it will be recorded in the county public records.

Property Insurance

Lenders require that you carry a certain amount of property insurance when obtaining a loan.  The purchase price of the property and the lender will determine the amount of insurance you will need. Rates vary and you might be able to save money by shopping several companies for homeowner’s insurance.

Consider these tips:

  • Paying a higher deductible could lower your premium.  Higher deductibles can make a big difference in the price of the policy.
  • Some insurance agencies offer lower premiums if your home has been equipped with safety features. They may offer senior citizen discounts or discounts for long-term customers.
  • Make sure you are only paying insurance on the house.  The land will still remain in case of disaster so should not need to be insured. Shop around to get the best insurance value for your dollars.

We work with many quality insurance agents and are happy to recommend some professionals to you.