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Harcourts Beverly Hills

Escrow Inspections and Appraisals

The Process, Step-by-Step

The Initial Agreement and Deposit.


An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential purchaser and the property’s seller.

Some important tips to keep in mind to streamline the process:

  • Keep written records of everything. For the sake of clarity, it will be extremely useful to transcribe all verbal agreements including counter-offers and addendums and to convert them into written agreements to be signed by both parties. We will assist you in drafting all the paperwork for your purchase and make sure that you have copies of everything.
  • Stick to the schedule. Now that you have chosen your offer, you and the seller will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of closing the real estate contract. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations so that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. During the process we will keep you constantly updated, so you will always be prepared for the next step.

The Closing Agent.

Either a title company or an attorney will be selected as a closing agent. The closing agent will hold the deposit in escrow and will research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. Some properties are subject to restrictions which limit various activities such as building or parking restrictions. There may be recorded easements and encroachments, which limit the rights to use your property.

How to Hold Title.

You may wish to consult an attorney or tax advisor on the best way to hold title. Different methods of holding title have different legal, estate and tax implications, especially when selling or upon death of the title holder.

Inspections.

Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will need to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property within the time frame that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase. You may elect to have different inspectors inspect the property, if you wish to obtain professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in a specific area (eg. roof, HVAC, structure). If you are purchasing a commercial property, then you will need to have an environmental audit done on the site for the lending institution. We can recommend several different inspectors.

Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:

1. Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the close, or

2. The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price).

Appraisal and Lending.

It is imperative that you keep in close communication with your lender, who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution, via a third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate. Appraisers are specialists in determining the value of properties, based on a combination of square footage measurements, building costs, recent sales of comparable properties, operating income, etc. When you are within two weeks of closing, double check with your lender to be sure the loan will go through smoothly and on time.

Association Approval.

If the property that you are purchasing is conditional upon an association approval, request the rules, regulations, and other important documents from the seller as soon as you have an effective agreement to purchase. Make sure that the application documents and processing fees are submitted to the appropriate person at the association by the required time. Fill out all of the information completely and legibly so there is no delay in processing the application. If you are required to meet with the association for your approval, make an appointment as soon as possible for the interview. Most associations require a certificate of approval before move-in. Your closing agent will request that the original copy of this approval letter be brought to the closing, so that it can be recorded with the deed in the county public records.

Property Insurance.

If you are obtaining a loan, you will be required by your lender to purchase a certain amount of insurance on the property. The value will depend on the lending institution and the purchase price of the property. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on homeowners insurance by shopping around for insurance. You can also save money with these tips.

  • Consider a higher deductible. Increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars can make a big difference in your premium.
  • Ask your insurance agent about discounts. You may be able get a lower premium if your home has safety features such as dead-bolt locks, smoke detectors, an alarm system, storm shutters or fire-retardant roofing materials. Persons over 55 years of age or long-term customers may also be offered discounts.
  • Insure your house NOT the land under it. After a disaster, the land is still there. If you do not subtract the value of the land when deciding how much homeowner’s insurance to buy, you will pay more than you should.
  • We will be happy to recommend experienced knowledgeable insurance agents for every property type.

Recent Reviews

Thank you Glen for all the hard yards you put in for us on Saturday to obtain the results we did. Your knowledge of the industry is invaluable and to combine this with your enthusiasm, professionalism and positive nature is peace of mind for any prospective vendor. We were extremely pleased to have you on our side throughout this process.

Andrea D.

Your ability to successfully manipulate and read the potential buyers art my auction resulted in a more than satisfactory sale price. I feel comfortable contacting you anything with questions about future purchases.

John & Leanne E.

There are very few professionals like, Brooke Coutinho. She masters the fine art of communication, kindness, and intelligence when completing any task at hand. I have the honor of working with Brooke and our international women’s real estate group called, Real Women In Real Estate Los Angeles. As a real estate professional, homeowner, and investor I have 100% confidence in Brooke and honestly, I wish I could steal her away to work with me. She is the proverbial unicorn in our business.

Louisette G.

I have worked alongside Brooke Coutinho for approx. 5 years. During this time I found her to be extremely helpful, so efficient and always professional! I would love to have Brooke in my team and or have her assisting me with a transaction as I know I could always rely on her to provide the best outcome possible! If you need any further information please feel free to contact me.

J. Royston

Elise is a mind reader! Well, not really BUT when I told her what my must-haves were, she listened. And, when I told her where I wouldn’t compromise, she got it. Time is precious and she respected that and didn’t waste my time by showing me homes that didn’t work for me. That’s important to me.

Ellen G.

Christine helped us with our relocation from the Central Valley recently. We had a very specific timeline as this was a work relocation, a specific lists of wants, budget and knew nothing about the area. Christine was respectful of all this and got us in our home with all boxes checked. Honestly, couldn’t be more pleased. A true professional and would highly recommend her. We are beyond happy, and fortunate, to have had Christine on our team.

B Taylor.

Amanda was absolutely amazing in every way!! She was the perfect agent for my hectic schedule. I was relocating from NY to Los Angeles. I scheduled a two week trip to Los Angeles to lock in a place while in town. Amanda came highly recommended as the agent to help me meet the goal. From the first meeting she was highly attentive, and immediately began sending listings for consideration. Within one day she was scheduling appointments to tour homes in person. And then the perfect house (for me) hit the market. I knew that it would be a competitive listing, and it absolutely was. She moved swiftly to contact the listing agent, scheduled viewings, submitted the offer and ultimately secured the place for me. I was so impressed at her navigation, communication and personal touches throughout the entire process. I couldn’t be happier, and I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

Ava H.

She is a great realtor and takes her time and always answers her phone if you have a question.She is very helpful and takes her time to make sure you make the right choice.Thank you for helping us and taking your time.

Ernie S.

Amanda is a superb agent. She is generous with her time and made herself available whenever needed. Would highly recommend Amanda to whoever is reading this review.

S.

She is very knowledgeable in real estate and is very patient in answering all your questions. She goes out of her way to help you with all your needs.

W.

Christine is hard-working, proactive, intelligent & she thinks outside the box! She's willing to go the distance for her clients. I asked her to do one thing & she did that & more - things I didn't even ask her to do. Talk about "Going that extra mile" or "overdelivering"! Can't recommend her enough!

Pat R

Christine’s vibrant personality carries over to her real estate expertise! She is ready to take on any challenge and will go the extra mile! Literally! Christine drove me to Fresno from Woodland Hills to view a property! In the end, purchased the property and everything went smoothly!

Sharlene M

She’s great. Our home buying was a long haul. She showed us many houses and when we found the right house it had a lot of issues to deal with and she dealt with them all in a quick professional manner.

Ken E

Christine helped us with our relocation from the Central Valley recently. We had a very specific timeline as this was a work relocation, a specific lists of wants, budget and knew nothing about the area. Christine was respectful of all this and got us in our home with all boxes checked. Honestly, couldn’t be more pleased. A true professional and would highly recommend her. We are beyond happy, and fortunate, to have had Christine on our team.

Blake T

Our adult children recently had the opportunity to move back to California after living in another state for several years. All their friends said, “Wait! Isn’t it the other way around? Isn’t everyone moving out of California!” Christine Ross with Harcourts Beverly Hills helped prove them wrong!

Linda W

We decided to relocate back to CA from MO in the Spring of 2021, a very difficult time to be a buyer. Our search in person lasted a couple weeks until we had to return to MO. Christine’s support and high level of communication were everything when we couldn’t be here in person! And when we closed quickly, she and her team made sure everything came together smoothly, on time. With her knowledge of the community, leading us through distanced open houses, and encouragement, we found more than I could have imagined in a community and a dream home for our family.

Jessica K

Christine sold a rental property for us. She was immensely helpful throughout the entire process and responded immediately to our questions and concerns. She did a thorough market analysis, advised us on what improvements buyers were looking for, provided referrals, and produced a top-notch sales brochure. Due to her excellent sales strategy and solid negotiation skills, she sold our townhome in less than a week for substantially over the listing price. Negotiating the multiple offers and escrow went smoothly and Christine stayed on top of it all. She went above and beyond professionally, and her kind and warm demeanor made doing business with her a pleasure.

Paula H