FaceTime or face time? You can’t do it all on your smartphoneposted by Dave Kogan (9/25/2017)
Apple, Samsung, or Pixel?
You can Google a video on how to fix your running toilet or set your alarm, video chat with someone across the planet and send out a 140-character opinion that could reach more than a million people.
You can see who’s at your front door while you’re at work, turn on your oven and air conditioner, watch your kitty-cam, and most assuredly receive immediate updates the moment a house that meets your criteria hits the market.
However, there are a couple of things you might find difficult to do with your phone, and you might actually want to be present.
Go look at the house. This requires that you reach out to your Realtor and have her make an appointment to tour the home. Your Realtor has a magic app on her phone that releases the key to the house from its lockbox.
Now you can see if the rooms are as large as they appeared in the photos and video you saw on your phone.
Is the floor real wood or laminate? Is that a big stain on the carpet or an intentional pattern? Can the driveway really fit six cars or was that just distortion from the photographer’s wide-angle lens? Can you hear traffic noise from the street? Is that a moldy smell coming from the closet under the stairs or were they making wine in there? Where are the 14 fruit trees mentioned in the property description?
Now, get back on your phone.
Call or text your agent to discuss the terms of your offer. Open your email to review the purchase agreement and click to sign and initial as indicated. Visit the home inspector’s website to schedule your inspection date and time. Send your lender updated bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns. Give your lender your credit card information to pay for the appraisal.
Then brace yourself for the three other things you need to do the old-fashioned way.
Show up for the home inspection, at least at the very end when the inspector will give you a summary of his findings. That way you can see, touch, smell, and feel whatever the finding may be. You can also look the inspector and your Realtor in the eye to figure out how significant the finding may be to the health and safety of the house.
Secondly, you’ll need to fill out your Statement of Information, which will come in your escrow instructions. There’s lots of tedious personal information required that only you can supply. Most buyers do this by hand, but if you have a PDF editor, have at it.
The last thing you will need to do is go to the escrow office and sign your loan documents. These have to be notarized, and the notary has to witness your signing. In person.
Contributing columnist Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or @leslieeskildsen.