Welcome to the latest instalment of our real estate question and answer series. Every week we answer three questions from social media and the comment section. Watch the video for the quick answers and read on for even more detail.
Q: What is an earnest money deposit?
A buyer’s earnest money deposit (EMD) shows that they are serious about the home and gives them time to execute the purchase contract. In San Francisco and the Bay Area the EMD is customarily 3% of the selling price but the amount will vary by location of the subject property. The EMD is held in an escrow account and eventually applied to the purchase as long as the deal closes. If the deal does not close the contract stipulates the terms under which the EMD is returned or possibly forfeited.
Q: What is the role of a title company?
The role of the title company varies by location. Typically, they research the chain of title and guarantee clean title through title insurance and by providing access to recorded documents pertinent to the property, such as liens or easements. Some title companies, such as in northern California, also provide escrow services and submit the recording of the transfer deed.
Q: How should I chose a real estate agent?
A: Look for an agent with experience and knowledge in your area, situation, and property type. A real estate sale is a large transaction with many moving parts. An agent who has experience specific to your needs can make that transaction more successful.
An agent with strong sales volume is also important. An active agent is much more likely to be more knowledgeable about current market dynamics.
Another important attribute in an agent is that they have a strong reputation among their peers. Cooperation is important to closing a smooth transaction. Members of our team have been elected by peers to positions at the San Francisco Board of Realtors, founded real estate round tables, and provided professional services to assist their peers.
Check the reviews! We always recommend people check us out on Yelp and Google to see what past clients have said about us. We also offer numerous references from other clients in similar neighborhoods, property types, and situations.
What questions do you have about San Francisco, the Bay Area, or just real estate in general? Please let us know by commenting below!