Your Real Estate Closing Explained Simply: What Smart Buyers and Sellers Need to Know!


Congratulations! You have entered into a contract to buy your first home, investment property, or that special vacation getaway place. The closing date is set, but now what do you do? This new book is a complete and thorough explanation of the real estate closing process and escrow. (Escrow is a neutral third party that follows the instructions from buyer and seller of the property. It makes sure that the required funds are in the escrow account before the deed to the home is recorded in the buyer’s name.) ...

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Congratulations! You have entered into a contract to buy your first home, investment property, or that special vacation getaway place. The closing date is set, but now what do you do? This new book is a complete and thorough explanation of the real estate closing process and escrow. (Escrow is a neutral third party that follows the instructions from buyer and seller of the property. It makes sure that the required funds are in the escrow account before the deed to the home is recorded in the buyer’s name.) Written in everyday, easy-to-understand English this book will help you save time and money as well as guide you around pitfalls.

Some of the subjects covered are the contract, mortgages, your closing agent, title commitment, survey, deed, bill of sale, affidavit of title, leases, assignment of leases, assignment of contracts, estoppels letters, utility letters, payoff letter for mortgage, condo letter, right of first refusal, assessments, utility bill, certificate of insurance, closing statement, power of attorney, grantor/grantee affidavit, transfer tax declaration, zoning certificate, affidavit of heirship, death certificate, commission statement, personal information affidavit, joint tenancy affidavit, ALTA statement, photo ID, keys, termite inspection, general inspection, mortgage contingency, attorney approval contingency, lead paint disclosure, RIPTA disclosure, environmental issues, soil test, structural tests, utility readings and name changes, tax bill, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), seller identification, trustees, trustee's deed, trustee's ALTA, trustee's pay proceeds letter, mortgage options, note, mortgage disclosures, title, leases, and buyer’s insurance and certificate.

The book includes numerous forms and easy-to-use checklists as well as information particular to each state.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601380326
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/11/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,093,167
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Dedication & Biography     4
Acknowledgements     5
Foreword     6
Introduction     8
Preliminary Matters     9
The Offer     43
You are in Escrow. Now What?     55
The Title and the Title Agent     83
The Closing     103
Buying and Selling Under Special Circumstances     123
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)     153
A State by State Review     161
Appendix     271
Works Consulted and Further Reading     283
Index     285
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2008

    Real Estate Closing Explained

    I know few people who have not fantasized at some point about opening a restaurant of their own. Food is such an essential part of our existence, and the experience of eating in a good restaurant is one of the great pleasures in life. Like all fantasies, though, this is one that rarely comes from an informed standpoint people who simply dream of opening a restaurant (or becoming a chef) rarely have first-hand knowledge of the process, and so they remain dreamers and not much else. This book by Bill Wentz offers a heavy dose of realism while never losing sight of the reasons that people want to get into the restaurant business in the first place -- to own a successful business, to serve fantastic food, to entertain and bring pleasure to customers, and so on. In a series of highly sensible chapters, all of which are loaded with practical advice and personal anecdotes, Wentz explains the workings of a highly complex and competitive field. He describes the various options available to people who want to break into the industry provides advice on developing business plans explains some of the economic realities of the business and asks his readers to consider everything from the cleanliness of their facilities to the kinds of workers s/he hopes to employ. It¿s a daunting book in many respects. Because restaurants often fail so quickly, a book like this needs to make the task seem possible. There¿s a massive amount of information to convey, and the author has a lively and enthusiastic tone by the end of it, I could imagine how some readers might come away with a more serious commitment to opening a restaurant of their own. But this is the sort of book that should be useful to people who maybe shouldn¿t take such a step. This is intended to be a compliment, but I came away with a sense that I should never under any circumstance try to start a business like this. The author¿s advice seems perfectly sound, and the book¿s coverage is thorough, but after reading it I realized that the restaurant industry is suited for people who are much more organized than I am.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    Closing on a home is one of those dreaded but unavoidable life events. Like death and taxes, we all yet sooner or later. Michelle Blain has done a superb job of dissecting a very complex and tedious subject. She even managed to make the reading interesting and enjoyable. This book is much more than your typical ¿how to¿ book. It is truly a comprehensive guide that can help you survive the buying or selling (and closing) of your home. You may even profit if you take this advice to heart and structure the deal correctly. I¿ve bought and sold several times before reading this book. I got this book as I was preparing or my last move. It was my best moving experience yet and I even managed to reduce the closing costs for my new home which paid for this book many times over. What an unbeatable combination ¿ an enjoyable read and saving money!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    A Must Read For Any Buyer Or Seller

    A systematic approach to buying and selling a home. Every phase of the real estate process from first looking at a house to the final closing and after closing is clearly defined in an easy to understand language. Whether you are thinking about buying your first home or your third piece of rental property, this book is a necessary read to get a complete and thorough understanding of the process and the terms that are used. Michelle Blain explains the whole process and includes case studies to clearly define what to expect as the seller and as the buyer. The book also includes many answers to questions listed alphabetically by state.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    Ever had a question about buying or selling your own home ¿ about loans, making and accepting offers and typical ¿closing¿ terms? This book most likely answers it, in an easy-to-read, flowing writing style. Whether you¿re buying or selling, there¿s a lot of work to do from start to finish. This book walks you through everything you need to know, from the obvious to things you may not have thought of, like easements, surveys and various clauses. It also shows you the flip side of the coin too. If you¿re buying a house, you¿ll not only learn about your end of the matter but where the seller is coming from, and vice versa. It¿s an all-encompassing bible for real estate deals. Numerous checklists and charts spread throughout the book assure that you won¿t forget anything during the closing process. They can also open your eyes to problems and pitfalls you may have otherwise missed. It could potentially end up saving you money, or at least give you piece of mind. The state-by-state review at the end of the book is a timesaver, providing you with information you would have otherwise had to research yourself. Michelle Blain not only knows her stuff, but also adds a personal touch that leaves the reader with the feeling that a good friend just gave them valuable, trustworthy advice. She touches on all aspects of closing and is reassuring that with the proper precautions, buying or selling a home can be done without huge hiccups. This book is essential to navigate through the very personal process of buying and selling a home. Rating: 5

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    A reviewer

    Your Real Estate Closing Explained Simply is an extremely useful step-by-step guide for buyers and sellers of real estate. The guide is written in an enjoyable, conversational tone with easy-to-understand explanations of unfamiliar terms that give the reader a thorough understanding of the topic. The book¿s layout lends itself easily to quick reference ¿ each section clearly indicates the topic covered within it, and helpful checklists, flow charts, and worksheets can be found throughout the book. It is the resource information that makes this book such an outstanding practical guide. For example, Your Real Estate Closing Explained Simply includes the actual forms that will be presented during the process with a detailed explanation of each document. The State by State Review in Chapter 8 is one of the most valuable elements of the book, giving state-specific information on real estate laws, procedures, and customs to buyers and sellers of real estate. Your Real Estate Closing Explained Simply is a must-have resource that can help both novice and seasoned buyers and sellers secure a smooth closing experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    A Prospective Home Owners Dream Book!

    Where was this book when I closed on my house? This book provides excellent guidance through one of the most stressful transactions anyone will endure. Its sage advice will prove useful to home buyers and sellers alike. More than a basic explanation of the real estate closing process, Your Real Estate Closing Explained Simply delves into the entire process of buying or selling a home from start to finish. Readers will get detailed information about deciding whether or not to use various professionals like real estate agents or attorneys, important information about the different inspections the property should undergo, guidance about financing of the home, and even helpful tips for moving day. One would think that a book about a legal transaction would make for pretty dry reading. That¿s simply not true with Your Real Estate Closing Explained Simply. Speaking in terms that anyone could understand, Blain takes care to break up particularly complicated sections of the book with helpful anecdotes to illustrate that section. Your Real Estate Closing Explained Simply took all of the mystery out of the real estate closing process. I¿m certain, now, that the next time I buy or sell a home, I won¿t toss and turn during the night before the closing. I can sleep soundly knowing that I already know what¿s going to take place the next day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    If you are a buyer or a seller who is interested in knowing exactly what goes on in the sale of a property, aside from just signing the papers you are presented with ¿ this book is for you. Blain drills down into all of the paperwork, clauses and contingencies from the beginning of the ¿deal¿ (the initial purchase offer) through the closing and transfer of the property. Clearly explaining each step along the way, she covers the roles and responsibilities of the buyer and seller, real estate agent (including the pros and cons of doing it yourself), mortgage brokers and title agent. You know all of those ¿fees¿ that you pay when you close on your house? Blain not only gives you definitions for them, she also tells you which ones are negotiable. Throughout the book, real life case studies reflect the wisdom of paying close attention to the details as you move throughout the proceedings, as well as illustrate the particulars in the sometimes overwhelming concepts involved in closing on your purchase. The book also gives specifics on the financial side of the deal, from how to value the property to the types of home loans available. Several worksheets and flow charts are provided throughout the book ¿ great tools in determining how much home you can afford and which step comes next. Blain also thinks outside of the box, covering creativity in acquiring a home for those who might have less than perfect credit or no down payment available. She gives several methods to help get you into that dream home, such as a shared ownership, lease-purchase or a joint tenancy. The book also offers tips to improve your credit and how lenders view you and possible financing you might not be aware of, including a great section on Rural Housing Service programs. The final chapter contains a state-by-state review of real estate facts, such as if property taxes can be paid in installments, which party is responsible for closing costs and who is permitted to do real estate closings in that locale. This is particularly helpful information if you are moving to another state, where you might not be as familiar with the real estate laws and may be relying solely on a local agent. Blain also provides sample legal documents such as an Agreement to Purchase, General Warranty Deed and Assumption of Loan in the appendices. Blain¿s book provides extensive information about a somewhat confusing and often tedious process in an understandable and clear way. That being said, this book is not an easy read, nor something the average person would sit down and read for pleasure. It is, however, a book you will be happy to have on your bookshelf and will refer to time and again during any of your real estate purchases.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2007

    This book gave me the confidence to get into real-estate investing!

    Of all the steps involved in buying or selling a personal residence or investment property, 'the closing' is by far the most confusing, intimidating, and to most people, completely baffling of all. Almost everybody has been involved in one or more closings, and yet few of us can remember many details since we fail to understand exactly what's going on. I believe that Realtors and real-estate attorneys help perpetuate this confusion as a means of ensuring the typical consumer's dependency upon them during the closing process. Well with this excellent manual, you can graduate from being a 'typical consumer,' to being a near-expert in all elements of 'the closing.' As I stated in an earlier review, I've read and reviewed numerous real-estate investment books. Most of them have been more inspirational than truly informative. This book, along with Charlie Rose's Inspect Before You Buy (which I read one after the other), succeeds because it does not attempt to be an all-in-one 'become a real-estate expert' guide. Instead, it gets deep into the details of the closing process -- everything from making an offer, to escrow, to titles and title insurance, etc. One thing that has prevented me from taking the plunge into real-estate investment is my lack of confidence when it comes to things like closing. Other real-estate books, for which closing is maybe a chapter (more likely a sub-section of a chapter) present closing as if it's no big deal, but fail to provide the reader with the information and details that make him really believe that it's no big deal. This book breaks down every aspect of closing in plain English, in a way that makes me feel like I'm ready to go to the negotiating table with any veteran Realtor or real-estate attorney. It is highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Explained With Great Simplicity!

    Understanding the Real Estate Buying Process can be overwhelming for many, thus hindering many consumers from moving ahead in obtaining one of their greatest dreams....homeownership. ¿Your Real Estate Closing Explained Simply: What Smart Buyers & Sellers Need To Know¿ is a brilliantly written book with such simplicity that even a child could understand it. This book will do just what it suggests. It will produce smart buyers and sellers. In this book, the Real Estate buying and closing process is explained very simply and thoroughly from start to finish. Blain, with ease, explains what a Real Estate Agent is and even provides charts, diagrams and even various real estate forms to assist both buyers and sellers in their quest of understanding real estate more thoroughly. She even demonstrates how to figure out how much house a buyer can afford. After reading this book, the average consumer will be well-informed and knowledgeable about the real estate industry. This book gives the consumer the confidence he or she needs to be more than ready to take the leap into homeownership. Michelle Blain not only comprehensively covers the Real Estate buying process from beginning to end, but she offers an extensive amount of additional information in all facets of the real estate topic. This book is so well structured and written, that it holds your attention from start to finish. I highly recommended this book to anyone who¿s thinking about investing in real estate. This book is surely a five star.

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