Can You Help Me Buy Or Sell My Home In San Diego CA

Delivering Quick Results For You In The San Diego Residential Real Estate Market


Frequently Asked Questions - Buy or sell home in san diego CA

Over the years, our clients keen to buy or sell homes in San Diego CA have asked us quite a few questions that we believe are quite common when you enter the market to buy or sell your home in the area. While there are always specific questions to the specific property we are working on with our clients, these get asked quite frequently. Please review them and if you still have more questions, we are a phone call, office visit or email away.


A Buyer Agent is an agent who is specifically working on YOUR behalf. While any agent you “hire” can help you through the process of buying a new home, the traditional role of an agent (often unclear to buyers) is working on behalf of the seller. Not just because the commission gets paid that way, but unless an agent is specifically asked to be YOUR Buyer agent, they may be working for the seller. And that means they are NOT protecting YOUR interests. The laws around agency vary from state to state, so this may not always be the case, but you should ask for clarification.You want someone who is looking out for your interests as the buyer; asking questions, obtaining information, and making sure YOU understand the implications of all that you do in the transaction. So keep this in mind as you think about who you want to help you buy your new home.

Escrow is a service that provides the public with means of protection in the handling of funds and documents. Escrow enables a Buyer and Seller to transact business with each other through a neutral party, thereby minimizing their risk. In escrow, all parties give their instructions in writing to the neutral intermediary, the "Escrow Holder", whose duty it is to assure that no funds or property will change hands until all terms have been carried to completion. If one of the parties shown below has not, will not, or cannot provide the documents, reports or funds required the Escrow Holder is unable to consummate the transaction and escrow cannot be closed.

Companies offering escrow services are independent third parties who are responsible to coordinate and ensure that all relevant parties associated with the transaction as indicated in the escrow-wheel to the left, come forth with their respective obligations on time in order to facilitate the closing process. Such objective and un-biased services helps protect interest of all parties involved with the transaction.

The costs and charges of a Southern California real estate transaction are fully negotiable between the Buyer and Seller through their respective agents if they are represented. The negotiated terms of the transactions are set forth clearly in the Purchase Agreement. While several types of fees are associated with a real estate transaction, the following table describes the typical distribution of responsibility of the payee of such fees and monies.

SELLER PAYS BUYER PAYS
  Real Estate Broker's Commission   County Transfer Tax ($1.10 per $1000 of sales price)
  Due and payable property taxes, bonds assessment   City Transfer Tax (varies by city)
  Prorated taxes, interest, rent, HOA dues   Prorated taxes, interest, rent, HOA dues
  Payoff all loans, liens, judgments on the property except those that the Buyer agrees to pay for as part of the Purchase Agreement   All financing costs, fees, pre-paid interest, impounds if any, Assumption costs if existing financing is to be assumed by Buyer
  Loan fees required by Buyers lender (specifically on FHA and VA loans)   Inspection fees (physical, roofing, geological etc)
  HOA transfer fee, document fee and demand fee   Payable taxes (not yet delinquent) required to be paid in advance by the Lender
  Pest control inspection reports and cost of repairs to be done to the property   Hazard insurance premium to be prepaid for one year in advance at the time of closing
  Home warranty plan   Costs to obtain credit report
  Title insurance premium for owner's policy   Title insurance premium for lender's policy
  Escrow services fee (Seller's portion)   Escrow services fee (Buyer's portion)
  Document preparation fee for Grand Deed and other recordable documents prepared for Seller   Document preparation fee for the documents prepared for the Buyer
  Demand processing fees   Special Delivery /courier fee/ wire transfer (if used to transfer funds)
  Notary public fees   Notary public fees
  Document signing service fees   Document signing service fees
  Document recording charges   Document recording charges

During the contingency period, the Buyer or Seller will order physical inspections as specified in the Purchase Agreement. Legislation mandates (under Civil Code 1102) that the Seller has the responsibility to reveal the true condition of the property on a Transfer Disclosure Statement. This may help determine what kind of property inspections is desired or necessary.

Structural Pest Control Inspection will examine the property for any active infestation by wood destroying organisms. Most pest control reports classify conditions as Section 1 or Section II. The inspection and ensuring Section I repair work is usually paid for by the Seller. Section II preventative measures are generally negotiated, and not necessarily completed.

This inspection may encompass roof, plumbing, electrical, heating, appliances, water heater, furnace, exterior sizing, and other visible features of the property. A detailed report will be written with recommendations and pictures which may include the suggestion to consult a specialist (such as a structural engineer or roofing contractor.) The inspection fee is usually paid by the Buyer.

An appraisal is a written estimate of a property’s market value completed by an appraiser. The value is based upon a market analysis of recent sales prices for similar properties in the area, and the property’s physical condition. The appraisal is performed by an appraiser, an objective third party whose job is to give their professional opinion of the market value of a home. An appraisal is the appraiser’s opinion of the property’s value based on their knowledge and evaluation of the property.

A Capital Gain is a profit that results from the sale of an asset, such as stocks, bonds, or real estate, which amounts to more that the purchase cost. This difference between sale price and original price (cost basis) is the capital gain. Capital gains are often calculated for tax purposes and are not based on the purchase price but on its adjusted cost basis. The IRS provides a tax exemption on capital gains from the sale of a principal residence.

A real estate agent is a person who helps people either sell their property or purchase property. The property usually is a house, but it also might be another type of structure or empty land. An agent must know the market value of properties, be able to evaluate positive and negative aspects of properties, know how to advertise and know how to negotiate a sale. He or she also often works with financial institutions to help people get the loans they need to be able to buy properties. The agent typically works on commission and will earn a small percentage of each sale that he or she helps complete.

The earnest money deposit is an important part of the home buying process. It tells the seller you are a committed buyer, and it helps fund your down payment. Without earnest money, you could make offers on many homes, essentially taking them off the market until you decided which one you liked best. Sellers rarely accept offers without deposits. In many circumstances, you can get most of your deposit back if you discover something that you don’t like about the home. The amount you’ll pay for the earnest money deposit will depend on a few factors, such as policies and limitations in your state, the current real estate market, and what the seller requires. On average, however, you can expect to hand over 1-2% of the total purchase price as earnest money.

Home warranty policies are a perk of many home purchases. They cover repairs on specific home elements, such as built-in appliances, heating and air conditioning systems, and plumbing.

Title insurance insures property owners that they are acquiring marketable title. Unlike caualty insurance (policies which insure against future events), title insurance is designed to eliminate risk or loss caused by defects in title from past events Title insurance coverage only for title problems. A title insurance policy is a contract of indemnity which insurers against loss if the title is not as reported; and if it is not and the owner is damaged, the tile policy covers the insured for his/her loss up to the face amount of the policy.