Real Estate Paperwork Explained For Shoreline, WA Home Buyers

Okay, so maybe real estate paperwork isn’t EVERYBODY’S favorite topic. Unless you’re an attorney (like half my family) – maybe it even makes your eyes cross a little bit. But it IS important. Sometimes, the times you appreciate clearly drafted real estate contracts the most is when there is a problem that comes up in your real estate deal, and you have to figure out how to solve it. Just like fighting siblings turn to Mom and Dad to arbitrate a quarrel, buyers and sellers who disagree can turn to their real estate paperwork for a definitive answer to how their predicament should be handled.

If you’ve ever bought a home in Shoreline, WA before, then you know there’s a mountain of paperwork involved. Each state does things a slightly different way, but in Washington, things are usually pretty smooth and straight forward. (If not, call your local attorney and let the fun begin!)

Shoreline, WA real estate paperwork
Buying or Selling a Home In Shoreline, Washington? Chances are, you’ll need to sign a slew of real estate paperwork. Let us explain what’s involved.

If this is your first time buying or selling a Shoreline, WA house – get ready to deal with these potentially confusing documents. Not only are there reams of contracts to read, but most of it is cast in “legalistic” language that follows the tradition of the court room. Weeding through “insider terms” and real estate, financial, and legal jargon can be a pain. But you really need to understand what you’re signing when it’s the largest financial transaction of your life.

Read The Real Estate Paperwork In Advance And Don’t Feel Rushed On The Day Of Signing

One thing I really PRIDE myself on is the time I take with my buyer and seller clients to carefully explain all the paperwork (in as much detail as you want). As I said, I was raised by a family of attorneys and they taught me never to sign something without reading it. That’s why I want to offer you the same advise.

It’s not unusual for me to spend 1-2 hours going over paperwork with clients so they understand exactly what they are getting into – what are their commitments, and what are their escape clauses. I don’t want you to feel rushed doing this at the heat of the moment.

I’ve had buyers put a house under contract at 11PM at night the first day they saw it. Those are not the conditions under which you want to be reading a stack of real estate paperwork for the first time. Better is to review and understand the paperwork in advance, so you can hop on an opportunity when it presents itself – without feeling stressed.

Let Me Know If You Would Like A Copy Of The Real Estate Paperwork We Use

If you are thinking about buying or selling a house in Shoreline, WA ( or really, anywhere in the Seattle, Bellevue, Everett area) I would be happy to show you the documents we’ll likely use (in advance) so you can get a better understanding of the specifics of what you’ll be signing.

I’m no attorney, and it is always good to go over your paperwork with a lawyer as well, especially if you have any questions, or a complicated case as in a divorce or probate situation.

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Ready To Buy Your Shoreline, WA Home or Investment Property?

I think that’s a great idea! Let me tell you why in this short video that’s part of our Home Buyer Tips Series.

Home Buyer Tips  - Ready To Invest In A Seattle, WA House For Sale?
Buying A Home In Shoreline, WA Can Be A Great Investment. How Can You Get Started? (For More Videos In This Series of Tips For Getting Started Buying Your First Home – click here.)

Real Estate Paperwork Essentials In Washington State

If you’re eager to educate yourself and understand the general “order of operations” when it comes to what needs to happen with your real estate paperwork, we offer this brief overview and explanation of real estate paperwork for home buyers.

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Lovely homes like this are only a few signatures away…

The Loan Documents

Before you ever get to the actual closing, you’ll have to wade through a forest of loan documents. Exactly which ones depend on the kind of loan, but here are the most common:

  • The note shows evidence of your debt to the lender, has a description of loan terms and states the means for the lender to transfer or collect the debt. It also states debt amount, beginning interest rate, conditions of changes in interest rates (if any), and time and place for repayment of what you owe. Because it has value itself, your lender can sell it to another lender.
  • The mortgage is your agreement to secure the loan with the property as collateral. Just like the deed, it has to be recorded at the county recorder’s office and so serves as a lien against the property so that it can’t be sold until the outstanding debt is paid.
  • The loan application is a copy of the original application that you will have to present at closing. But if your financial situation has changed since you first filled out the application, you have to inform your lender before signing at closing.

The Transfer Documents

These make up the real estate paperwork that plays a prominent role at closing, most of which will already have been signed by the seller. These documents include:

  • The deed actually transfers ownership of the property from seller to buyer, usually in legal language dictated by state law. After the deed is signed and notarized, it has to be officially recorded and made public by the county recorder of deeds so that there is an official public record of your rightful ownership of the property.
  • The bill of sale transfers whatever personal property accompanies the sale of the real estate. This part of the real estate paperwork covers things like appliances, air conditioners, furnaces, security systems, light fixtures, and the like.
  • The affidavit of title/seller’s affidavit is a sworn, notarized statement made by the seller that confirms actual ownership of the property and thus the right and ability to sell it. It also includes any liens or conditions or disputes that could create liens.
  • Some states require transfer tax declarations because they charge a tax on the transfer of real property, so the transfer must be disclosed along with the purchase price.

The Title Documents

The last part of the real estate paperwork for Shoreline, WA home buyers is that which comprises the title documents for the title company and the escrowee. The main document here is the title insurance commitment. It shows who actually owns the property (the party in the title) and any and all liens or other clouds on the titles. It’s best to have this reviewed by an attorney to make sure the title is exactly as promised in the contract and so acceptable under law and custom.

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Real Estate Paperwork Made Easier

For the average Joe Buyer or Seller, the masses of jargon-laden real estate forms for Shoreline, Washington can daunting. So there’s really only one way to make it all more manageable. And that is to have a knowledgeable real estate agent – a professional who understands these things – in your corner.

At HomePro Associates we know and love our paperwork and want to put it to work to protect you and help you reach your real estate dreams. Have questions? No problem – fill out the form below and we will get back to you with answers!

Are you ready to buy a Shoreline, WA house? We can help! Send us a message or give us a call today! (206) 578-3438

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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