It’s exciting. Looking for a new home. You and your spouse and your 2.2 children decided it’s time to move. Like 94% of consumers you go online, to a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. “5 bedroom-2bath-homes-for-sale-Chandler-85248″ is your search. Like most real estate consumers that ask Google a question, you already know exactly what you want.
You know better than to search for “Phoenix Homes For Sale”, you did that last time and wasted your valuable time searching through the millions of search results. Not this time. 1st search result, No Way. 2nd, it’s possible. 3rd looks promising. You call your husband “hey honey, come look at this one, it has pictures and a video!”
Your husband enters the bedroom, you use it as an office but it is clearly a bedroom, another reason you are looking for a new home. As you are watching the virtual tour you nudge your husband “look at that backyard, it’s huge!” You continue to watch the video waiting for the deal maker or breaker – the kitchen.
Your eyes light up. The granite counter-tops are beau-ti-ful and the appliances – stainless baby! This house appears to have it all. You pick up the phone. Like 80% of consumers that search for homes you will choose the first real estate agent you come across. In this case, it’s not the listing agent but a savvy REALTOR using an Indexable IDX to get found online. You grab the phone, your husband rattles off the phone number of the REALTOR: 602, no I think it’s 480 . . .the phone rings and as luck would have it, the agent answers the phone [unheard of!]. You ask, “Is 1234 E. Main Street in Chandler still available?” Seems like forever as the agent checks. “Yes, would you like to see it?” the agent says “YES!” the whole family yells.
You meet the REALTOR, seems like a nice guy. Not that you have given it much thought, they all appear to be the same, that’s why 80% will pick the first one they find. The REALTOR gets the lock box, unlocks the front door and opens it. “After you” he says. You can just imagine the kids shoes in the foyer, you can smell the homemade Pizza you make for the family every Friday night. The backyard IS HUGE, this house is perfect! Family huddle. Should we make an offer? Your teenage daughter, being a teenager, says “duh”. Break! Huddle compete. “Let’s make an offer” you say. As luck would have it, this home is not an REO or Short Sale, it’s a regular old resale. Sweet!
The REALTOR breaks out his iPad 2 and starts typing. Name? Married? Will you be getting a loan? on and on and on. Do you have a preference in Title Company he asks? “YES”, you say, I’ve been reading about qualities to look for in a real estate agent and number 1 complaint of real estate agents on MyTitle Guy’s Real Estate Marketing Blog – I would like to use him. The agent smiles, I enjoy his articles too. Stephen Garner it shall be. Offer written and submitted to the listing agent. Fingers crossed.
You can’t sleep, “did we get it?” “Did we bid too low?” “Maybe we should have made a full price offer?” This is where the stress of buying a home begins. The following day you realize you picked a great REALTOR, you didn’t need to call him, first thing in the morning he calls you with news “the sellers countered, they agree to everything except they want the close of escrow moved up by 1 week and the sellers REALTOR has a preferred title company”. What does that mean? you ask. The REALTOR explains, well, while it is your choice in Arizona to pick your own title company, the sellers REALTOR is insisting on you using theirs. This is where the confusion begins, you are the buyer, it’s your choice to pick the title company, Can Seller Choose The Title Company especially when you are paying for the policy. You have read on the MyTiteGuy Blog How To Choose A Title Company that picking the wrong title company can be disasterous. What should you do? Should you just go for it or stick to your guns and insist on the right to pick your own company?
Ask questions. WHY does the sellers agent want to use another title company? Is it the seller asking or the sellers agent? What is the benefit to the seller? To the sellers agent? To you? There may be a good reason why the sellers agent wants to use another title company. Maybe the seller is getting a re-issue rate and will save a percentage on their title fees. If this is the case, you may be able to finagle a discount for yourself. Maybe the seller works at the title company? And maybe it’s not the seller insisting but the sellers agent.
If the seller is requesting another title company be sure to ask why. A title company is meant to be a NEUTRAL third party, as in not favoring one side over another. In my 10 years as a title rep, I have seen plenty of deals go sideways where what starts out as the perfect transaction turns into the deal from hell. If you don’t think picking the right title company matters consider this: remember that earnest money your REALTOR asked you about when he was writing the contract on his iPad 2? Ya know, that $5000 you put down to show you were serious? If something goes sideways in your deal, outside of the 10 day inspection period and contingencies, in Arizona it’s the title company that will be deciding who gets the earnest money.
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