Welcome to Foundation Escrow’s frequently asked questions section. Below are many frequently asked questions about common real estate and escrow topics. We hope that this resource will help you obtain a better understanding of your next escrow transaction. If you would like an overview of a typical escrow transaction, please visit our escrow process page for a full diagram.
Foundation Escrow is proud of our reputation of providing the highest service in San Diego. We are here to serve you. If you have any questions or if you are ready to open escrow with us, please contact us at: (619) 327-2140. We are standing by to help you with all of your escrow needs.
Frequently Asked Escrow Questions
- Question: Should I get pre-qualified by a lender before house shopping?
- Answer: Yes, it can save both you and the Seller a lot of time and effort. You will know how much house you can afford. Many sellers will not show their home unless you have a pre-qualification letter from a lender.
- Question: How do I determine how much my home is worth?
- Answer: You have a number of choices here. Hiring an appraiser will usually cost around $350.00. The Buyer’s new lender will not, in most cases, accept this appraisal. They will have their own appraiser who may or may not determine the same value for the property. A Real Estate Agent will give you a free comparative market analysis “CMA”. They will also offer to list your home for you. There are numerous websites on the Internet where you can find values, demographics and more resources.
- Question: Should I order an appraisal on my house?
- Answer: Probably not. The buyer’s new lender in most cases will not accept an appraisal that was ordered by the seller. Unless the property is very unique or usual, there are much cheaper ways to determine the value of a property.
- Question: Who decides who will process my escrow?
- Answer: This decision belongs to the buyer and seller. Not the real estate agent, lender or title company. There are federal laws in place that make it illegal for all companies in the real estate industry to pay referral fees or “kick backs” to other real estate providers. Make sure that your escrow company is truly independent. Insist on using Foundation Escrow, as escrow is our ONLY business.
- Question: What is this “one-stop shopping” I hear so much about?
- Answer: You see this when a real estate service provider (be it title, escrow, lender, or real estate brokerage) combines to provide multiple services from the same company or even the same office. This comes in many forms. You may see real estate offices that also own a mortgage brokerage company and will make a home loan to the buyer. They may even have an escrow officer on staff to process escrows on transactions where they are an agent for the buyer or seller. It has become a common practice for some time now that title companies process escrows in addition to their core business of title insurance. We at Foundation Escrow, along with most real estate attorneys and real estate professionals, agree that your escrow provider should be an independent, neutral, third-party to your transaction.
- Question: Who orders the termite inspection?
- Answer: Typically, the seller orders the termite inspection. The seller must arrange a time when the inspector can have access to the property.
- Question: What inspections do I need?
- Answer: There are many different types of inspections available to buyers, sellers and lenders. Most lenders for the buyer will require an appraisal by their own appraiser. A termite inspection is required in most cases also. Buyers will often times want to have a professional home inspection service look at the property prior to purchasing.