Contract Phase - Sellers
Once we receive a satisfactory offer on your property we will then move into the contract phase, also known as the escrow phase. During the escrow phase we will take care of all of the tasks required to get us to settlement which include property inspections, the mortgage process, title review, deed preparation, condo or home owner association reviews, utility transfers and more. As experienced Realtors this is where we earn our money so to speak. Any real estate agent can secure an offer on a property that is in good condition and priced well. Only good and experienced Realtors can address and handle the situations that arise in today's real estate market that have the potential to cause a good deal to fall apart and keep it from going to settlement.
After we get all of the paperwork sorted out and are officially under contract, the property inspections will be the first item to take care of. For most real estate in Ocean City MD and the surrounding areas this will typically only entail a mechanical and structural inspection. For some homes termite and mold inspections may come into play. The Buyer will arrange and pay for the inspections and notify us of when they are going to be performed. I will attend the inspection, personally see any problems that may arise and address them. The Buyer will then review the inspection report and then may request that certain items be fixed as a condition of moving forward. Once this is presented to us we will then review it and determine how we want to proceed. We can agree to either fix the items, provide the Buyer with a credit at the time of settlement or decline to address some or all of the items. In the event that we decline to fix anything to the Buyers satisfaction they then have the right to terminate the deal and the contract will be voided. It is our goal to eliminate nit picky items and only deal with major items that may arise as they will likely be brought forth by any potential buyer.
Condominium and HOA Review
Per Maryland law we are required to provide the Buyer with a complete resale package pertaining to the particular condominium association or home owners association that your property is a part of, if applicable. We need to provide these documents no later than 15 days prior to the closing date. I will take care of ordering the resale package from the respective management company once we have a ratified contract. Once I receive them I will distribute them to the Buyer, mortgage company and settlement attorney as they will all need different documents from the package. Per MD law the Buyer's review period is seven days for a condominium association and five days for home owners associations. Should there be something in the documents that they are not comfortable with they can void the contract during this phase. It is one of our many goals to ensure this doesn't happen. I will address any issues or questions that may arise during this phase and gather additional information if necessary to ensure that the Buyer is satisfied (where possible) and comfortable moving forward.
Most of the obligations for the mortgage phase of the settlement process will fall on the Buyer. I will follow up with the Buyers agent and the lender directly to ensure they are getting everything that they need in a timely manner and ensure that there are not any problems. We will also ensure that the lender has all of the relevant documents they need from the resale packages and the settlement attorney. I will check in once a week or more if needed to monitor the process and ensure that everything is moving along as it should.
In the state of Maryland the Buyer gets to choose which settlement company will conduct the property settlement. The settlement company will perform title reviews, prepare the deeds and provide the lender with any documentation that they may require. When it is time for the actual closing the settlement company will be the one to pull everything together and perform the property settlement. As with the lender I will keep in touch with the settlement company to ensure they have everything that they need and address any issues that may arise in a timely manner. We will also arrange a convenient time for you to go in and sign the necessary documents as the settlement approaches. We can also arrange for the documents to be sent to you if it is not convenient for you to attend settlement.
Utility Transfers and Moving
As the settlement date approaches we will coordinate and arrange for the transfer of the utilities into the Buyers name. Should you need assistance with moving or relocating we would be glad to assist you with this through our local vendors.
The Buyer will likely want to do a final walk through on the day of settlement. I will attend this walk through to ensure that there are not any problems. In the unlikely event that something does arise we will address it and ensure that it does not hinder the settlement.
The Buyer will responsible for all of the costs associated with performing the property inspections, lender fees and the settlement company's costs. The costs that you as the Seller will be responsible for are the commissions, half of the transfer taxes and stamps ($1.66 per $100 of purchase price) which are negotiable, the deed release and any other items that may have been negotiated as part of the contract. Any prepaid items such as taxes, condo fees or water bills will be prorated down to the day of settlement and you will be reimbursed the difference. We will have preliminary settlement statements prepared for you at the time which we present the offer to you so that you can see how all of the numbers will shake out.
In today's real estate market many unexpected items can arise and keeping deals together largely depends on addressing these items in a timely and thorough manner. As an experienced, full time Ocean City area Realtor I am in a position to do this. By being in constant contact with all of the working parts and available pretty much anytime I can largely prevent these issues from arising and more importantly, resolve them quickly when they do.
Selling real estate in Ocean City MD and the surrounding areas doesn't have to be the challenging process that many make it out to be. When we begin with proper pricing and a strong marketing campaign we can secure an offer in a relatively quick time frame. By being organized and in constant communication with all of the integral parts during the contract phase we can virtually guarantee a smooth and stress free settlement process. I take great pride in the level of service and communication that I provide. Feel free to contact me directly anytime at 443-614-9179 or by email if you would like to discuss this or anything else concerning real estate in the Ocean City area.
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