Buyer FAQ

  1. Who picks which escrow and title company will handle our closing?

It is customary for the seller to choose escrow and title but like most contract terms, it is negotiable.

  1. Where and what time will the closing be held?

In California, the seller and buyer do not need nor is it customary to sit down at the table to “close”.  The normal course to close is for the buyer(s) to sign loan documents with a licensed notary at escrow or place of their choosing.  The seller will sign the deed.  Escrow will submit the file to “record” with San Diego County.  Once escrow and title receive “confirmation” of recording from the county, the transaction has officially and successfully closed.

  1. Remote seller: Do I have to attend the closing?

No.  You mail the closing documents prior to closing for signature (See answer #2 above for details)

  1. Should I be present during the home inspection?

It would be very beneficial and informative for the buyer to attend the inspection.

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  1. How do we know when we have mortgage approval?

Per the contract, the lender has a specified number of days from the date of contract to give the Selling Agent a loan commitment.  The Selling Agent will deliver the letter to the Listing Agent.  The lender will notify you directly.

  1. Why didn’t the home inspector inspect the security system?

Most home inspectors do not test or inspect home security systems.

  1. We had a termite inspection and there is evidence that termites were present at one time.  Can we terminate the contract and get our security deposit back?

The only way you could terminate the contract is if you have a contingency that specifies that you could get out of the contract based on the results of the termite inspection.  Most California purchase contracts will have this contingency included.  Note: FHA loans require a passing termite inspection report.

  1. If the house is vacant can we move some boxes/furniture into the house before closing?

It’s the sellers decision, but it’s advisable that you, or your belongings, do not move into the house before closing.  The seller may choose to allow you to move some boxes into the garage with the interior door to the inside of the house locked.

  1. During the final walk through we found repairs that were not done, per problems noted in the home inspection report. How can we be sure the seller will fix these items prior to closing?

The Selling Agent can request that the title company hold money in escrow so that repairs don’t hold up the closing.

  1. Does my spouse need to be present at the closing?

If your spouse is a co-applicant on the loan for the home, yes he/she will also need to sign documents to close the transaction.

  1. Can I write a personal check for my closing costs?

No.  You must have a cashier’s check from the bank.  The Selling Agent usually reviews the HUD statement with escrow a day or two prior to closing and will let you know the exact amount you’ll need for the cashier’s check.

  1. We won’t be in town before closing day. Can our real estate agent do the final walk through?

It’s advisable that the buyers themselves be present for the walk through.  It’s up to your real estate agent whether he/she wants to assume the liability of doing the walk through for you.  Your real estate agent may recommend that you hire a home inspection company to do the walk through so they may verify that items that were to be repaired, per the home inspection report, actually have been properly repaired.

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