Who Does What?
Have you ever wondered who is responsible for which of many tasks that must be completed during a real estate transaction? I have listed the most often occurring tasks and who is responsible for them during a real estate transaction in California. This is a general overview because each transaction is unique, but it will give you an idea of how many people are involved, and how much paperwork has to be completed.
Lender and/or Mortgage Broker
Defines loan amount for borrower
Submit borrower’s information to underwriter for approval
Orders loan documents to be sent to escrow for borrowers’ signature
Documents returned to underwriter for final inspection (correct signatures/dates)
Funds (loan amount) ordered sent to escrow trust account for agreed to disbursement by escrow officer
Escrow records documents from seller to buyer’s name and Deeds of Trust for Lender
Escrow usually takes 30-60 days of which 3 weeks is the average loan process time at-this-time
Coordinates all principals of purchase and sales contract
Orders Preliminary Title Report on subject property to confirm legal information on subject property, owners of record, current taxes, deed/lien information and CC&R’s of record
Makes certain that all “conditions” are met as per instructions, agreed to by Buyer and Seller
Coordinates all information between seller’s and buyer’s agents, title department, lender and inspectors, etc.
Gathers all documentation regarding new and old loans, inspection reports, repairs and title requirements, etc.
Arranges for buyer and seller to sign all Escrow and Title papers
Record all documents required to transfer title from seller to buyer including a Grant Deed, Deed of Reconveyance and Trust Deeds
Disburses all funds necessary for old loan payoff, inspections, demands of payments for repairs, etc.
Arranges for seller to receive proceeds of sale
Represents buyer with purchase of property, loan and escrow process
Helps buyer locate lender who tells buyer the price of property they qualify to buy
Helps buyer find suitable property
Advises buyer and helps negotiate the price and term through seller’s agent
Reviews all property information from Preliminary Title Reports, liens.
Coordinates all information between buyer, lender, escrow, inspections and other agent
Guides buyer through process, loan, required insurance, escrow and closing
Takes buyer on “walk through” inspection of property to note any problems that need to addressed during escrow period
Arranges to meet with any inspectors or property (with or without buyer present)
Usually accompanies buyer to escrow for loan and escrow signing
Delivers all keys to property after the property records from seller to buyer
Represents seller of property
Orders property profile from title company to determine ownership, liens, legal description, square footage, bedrooms, baths, roof, heat/air, or special amenities such as a pool, workshop, etc.
Does market research and tells seller the market value of property from recent sales
Lists property on Multiple Listing Service, reaching almost every Realtor® in the community
Markets to Realtors®, advertises, holds open houses, introduces to Multiple Listing Service
Oversees necessary repairs of property and maintenance during listing period
Negotiates price and terms of purchase contract with buyer’s agent on behalf of the seller
Opens escrow with the title company
Coordinates and disseminates information between buyer’s agent, seller, escrow, property inspections and any other involved in sale
Oversees inspections and any other repairs agreed to in contract
Usually meets with seller to sign escrow/loan documents
Arranges pick up and delivers all keys to property and instructional information on any equipment, warranties, etc.