The tools to make your process eco-friendly.
You’ve found a house or a buyer has found yours and everyone has agreed on a price. So what happens between now and the time it becomes legally owned by you or another party? At Stewart Title we understand the home buying process can be a little confusing. So we’ve put together this page to provide you some information and make your transaction a little easier to understand.
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Step One – Earnest Money
Earnest money is a deposit made by the purchaser as a sign of good intent to purchase the property. An agreement to convey (or transfer the title) starts the process once it is received at the title company along with the earnest money. Loan application is made by the buyer, and approval is usually subject to a credit check, an appraisal and, sometimes, a survey of the property.
Step Two – Tax Check
The title company then determines what taxes are owed on the property. The various assessor-collectors are contracted by the title company.
Step Three – Title Search
Copies of documents are gathered from various public records: deeds, deeds of trust, various assessments and matters of probate, heirship and divorce and bankruptcy are addressed. With our SureClose® technology, we bring these documents in electronically whenever possible and make sure that all on-electronic documents are scanned in.
Step Four – Examination
The title company now verifies the legal owner and the debts owed by the owner.
Step Five – Document Preparation
Appropriate forms are prepared electronically for the transfer of title and settlement, or the formal transfer of ownership, also commonly referred to as the closing. When working with a green recognized Stewart office, all these documents will be shared electronically with you, the real estate professionals, lender and any others involved in the process to reduce the carbon footprint of your transaction.
Step Six – Settlement
An escrow officer oversees the closing of the transaction: the seller signs the deed, the buyer signs a new mortgage, the old loan is paid off and the new loan established. The seller, real estate professionals, attorneys, surveyors, title company and others performing services for the buyer and seller are paid. Additionally, title insurance policies will then be issued to you and your lender. When working with a level three recognized office, your closing will actually occur electronically.
No matter which level green recognized office you work with, you will receive your documents on a CD rather than paper. Additionally, Stewart has the technology to enable your county courthouse to electronically receive documents to make the transaction entirely paperless.
Still have questions? No problem. Click here to find your local Stewart Title office, and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Click the links below for more information on how our technology can help your transactions be greener.