Surviving the Home Loan Process: Homebuyer FAQs

The most important paperwork to get in order during the escrow process for homebuyers is your home loan documentation.

It is best to choose a lender and get pre-approved for a home loan before you even but an offer on a home. Getting pre-approved not only makes you a more desirable buyer, it also makes the escrow process run smoother.

However, whether you’ve been pre-approved or not, you will need to go through these steps and with your Lender during escrow so they have all the specifics of your actual home purchase. Although you can get your mortgage rate and some details locked in with a pre-approval, there is still more to get squared away.

How does the loan process work?

Your real estate agent can provide you with current financing information to help you in selecting a Lender. The Lender might be a bank, savings and loan, or a mortgage company. You will be required to complete a loan application, which will require personal and financial information.

What happens after I submit the loan application?

The Lender will begin the qualification process. This includes verification of the information submitted on the application and appraisal of the value of the property.

The Lender will require that you obtain hazard/fire insurance if you are purchasing a detached home. However, if you are buying a condominium of town house there may already be a master hazard policy. Check with your Real Estate Agent. Also, check with your Insurance Agent for additional coverage for your personal property. The Lender will also require that you obtain title insurance, and may have other requirements that will need your attention prior to the close of escrow. Your Real Estate Agent can help you take care of these requirements well in advance.

When the loan is approved, what’s next?

When your loan is approved and the loan documents are sent to the Escrow Holder handling your transaction; the Escrow Holder will prepare an estimated closing statement which specifics in debit and credit format the disposition of your purchase funds.

How will I know where my money has gone?

Written evidence of your deposit is generally included in your copy of the Purchase Agreement (sometimes called an Agreement to Purchase and Receipt for Deposit). Then your funds will be deposited in a separate escrow or trust account and processed through a local bank.

What’s the next step after I’ve signed the closing loan documents?

After you have signed all the necessary instructions and documents, the Escrow Holder will return them to the Lender for a final review The review usually occurs within a few days. After the review is completed, the Lender is ready to fund your loan and inform the Escrow Holder.

When will I receive the deed?

The original deed to your home will be mailed directly to you at your new home by the county recorder’s office. This service takes several weeks, and sometimes longer depending on the county recorder’s volume.

What do I need to do before my appointment to sign loan documents?

Identification: Bring either: your valid state identification card, driver’s license or passport with you to the escrow company. These items are needed to verify your identity by a notary public. It is routine, but necessary step for your protection.

Cashier’s check: Obtain a cashier’s check made payable to your escrow company in the amount indicated to you by your Escrow Officer. A personal check may delay the closing since Escrow and Title Companies are required by law to have “good funds” (the check must have cleared before disbursing funds from escrow). Wired funds are another method of expediting your closing.

If you have more questions about the home loan process or escrow, talk to a professional. Working with a licensed real estate agent makes the home buying process easier so find a First Team agent you can trust and start working with your own personal advocate. You can also reach out and we’ll match you with an area specialist near you.

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