By Kay Wilson-Bolton
President, Ventura County Coastal Assn of REALTORS®
May 21, 2000
People love to talk about real estate. It happens at the grocery store, the dental office and at church. They talk about who is moving, the last sale in the neighborhood and the ever-popular interest rate.
There is an area of our business that is seldom discussed which can cause confusion during the negotiation period. It has to do with the selection process for the escrow and title company. This part of the Purchase Contract and subsequent acceptance is negotiable. The very word “negotiate” means give and take. You tell me what you want. I tell you what I want and we see if there is meeting of the minds.
According to RESPA, the Federal Act that governs truth in lending, states that if a seller demands a particular title and escrow company, the seller must pay the buyer’s share of those fees.
We occasionally see a listing that states, “Sellers require Quality Escrow Company and Dandy Title Company”. It is not uncommon for the buyer to request services from different companies. Now what?
The truth may be that the seller doesn’t really care, but because their REALTOR® has a long standing working relationship with a particular title company and escrow company, they are following their recommendation.
There are some things buyers and sellers needs to know. REALTORS® spend a lot of time with the service professionals–title reps, our escrow officers, lenders, home inspectors, home warranty service reps, and termite inspectors. We know who we can count on and who leaves us wanting. We pass the benefit of that knowledge along to our clients in the way of recommendations for services
An unfavorable circumstance occurs when buyers and sellers are countering agent-driven requests for particular service providers. It is common for clients to not have a preference as they watch their agents negotiate these items for them. Meanwhile the clock is ticking.
This sets the stage for a precarious circumstance. Another offer could come into the picture during negotiations which the seller could accept. Another house could come on the market which the buyer might decide to buy instead
Kay Wilson-Bolton is president of the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS®. For more information, contact Kay Runnion, Interim CEO, Ventura County Coastal Assn of REALTORS® at 981.2100. Our website is http://www.vc-realtors.com