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We have compiled a key list of terms that you should know. As always, we thank you for your title business. Should you have any questions regarding any of these terms or anything regarding our title transactions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our goal is your success.


A change—either to alter, add to, or correct—part of an agreement without changing the principal idea or essence.


An estimate of value of property resulting from analysis of facts about the property; an opinion of value.


Taking over another person’s financial obligation; taking title to a parcel of real property with the Buyer assuming liability for paying an existing note secured by a deed of trust against the real property.


The recipient of benefits, often from a deed of trust; usually the lender.

Close of Escrow

Generally the date the documents are recorded and title passes from Seller to Buyer. On this date, the Buyer becomes the legal owner, and title insurance becomes effective.

Comparable Sales

Sales that have similar characteristics as the subject real property, used for analysis in the appraisal. Commonly called “comps.”

Deed of Trust

An instrument used in many states in place of a mortgage.

Deed Restrictions

Limitations in the deed to a parcel of real property that dictate certain uses that may or may not be made of the real property.

Earnest Money Deposit

Down payment made by a purchaser of real property as evidence of good faith; a deposit or partial payment.


A right, privilege or interest limited to a specific purpose that one party has in the land of another.

Hazard Insurance

Real estate insurance protecting against fire, some natural causes, vandalism, etc., depending upon the policy. Buyer often adds liability insurance and extended coverage for personal property.


A trust type of account established by lenders for the accumulation of borrower’s funds to meet periodic payments of taxes, mortgage insurance premiums and/or future insurance policy premiums, required to protect their security.

Legal Description

A description of land recognized by law, based on government surveys, spelling out the exact boundaries of the entire parcel of land. It should so thoroughly identify a parcel of land that it cannot be confused with any other.


A form of encumbrance that usually makes a specific parcel of real property the security for the payment of a debt or discharge of an obligation. For example, judgments, taxes, mortgages, deeds of trust.


The instrument by which real property is pledged as security for repayment of a loan.


A payment that combines Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance.

Power of Attorney

A written instrument whereby a principal gives authority to an agent. The agent acting under such a grant is sometimes called an “Attorney-in-Fact.”

Purchase Agreement

The purchase contract between the Buyer and Seller. It is usually completed by the real estate agent and signed by the Buyer and Seller.

Quitclaim Deed

A deed operating as a release, intending to pass any title, interest, or claim which the grantor may have in the property, but not containing any warranty of a valid interest or title by the grantor.


Filing documents affecting real property with the County Recorder as a matter of public record.

Why need home warranties?

Q. What can you tell me about home warranties?

A. First of all, a home warranty is not the same thing as homeowners insurance, nor is it a replacement for homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance covers major perils such as fires, hail, property crimes, water damage, etc. that could affect the entire structure and/or the homeowner's personal possessions. A home warranty does not cover these perils. Rather, it covers specific components of the home.

A home warranty provides for discounted repair and replacement service on a home's major components, such as the furnace, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical system. It may also cover major appliances such as washers, dryers and refrigerators.

Home warranty companies have agreements with approved local service providers. When something breaks down, the home warranty company sends one of its service providers to examine the problem. If he determines that the needed repair is covered by the warranty, he completes the work. The homeowner pays a service fee.

A home warranty costs a few hundred dollars a year, paid in advance and can vary according to the type of residence covered, the state you're in and the level of service desired. Often they are offered by sellers as a buyer's incentive to the sale of the home.

In addition to an annual premium, home warranties charge a service call fee every time the warranty holder requests that a service provider come out to the house.
There are many companies that sell home warranties and the specifics of the policies they sell can vary greatly, so it pays to shop around.
There is a lot to think about and I'd be delighted to help in any way I can and, of course, answer any other questions you may have about real estate. Feel free to call me.

Q.  What does the escrow company do with my earnest money deposit check?
Ạ  The check that you hand the broker or escrow holder is deposited into the escrow holders's trust account the same day it is received by the escrow holder.

Q.  Why do I have to complete a Statement of Information form?
A. The information is needed by the title insurance company to enable them to eliminate those matters (judgements and liens) which may appear on the County records against a person having a similar name.

Q.  What do I do about fire insurance?
A. You may obtain fire insurance from the agent of your choice. Discuss with your agent the coverage you want and have your agent call us. Lenders generally require insurance in an amount equal to the loan you are obtaining.

Q.  When will I know how much money is needed to close escrow? (Downpayment & closing costs)
A. Escrow holder will not have all the figures necessary to calculate the amount of funds due until escrow holder receives the loan documents from you lender. Approximately one week prior to the close of escrow an appointment will be set up at which time you will sign loan documents and hand escrow holder the balance of funds necessary to close escrow.

Q.  What type of check do I need to close escrow?
A. Funds delivered to the escrow holder must be in the form of a cashier's check or savings and loan check drawn on a bank in the State of California. If funds are coming from out of state, please make arrangements to have the funds wired to the escrow company.

Q.  When does escrow holder need my money?
A. Normally you will bring your funds with you when you sign your loan documents.

Q.  Do I have to come in the day escrow closes?
A. NO. All necessary documents will have been signed and funds already deposited into escrow.

Q.  Who do I get the keys from for the property?
A. Your Real Estate Agent.

Q.  When do I get the Grant Deed to my property?
A. You will receive your Deed in the mail directly from the County Recorder's office approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the close of escrow.

Q. When can I move into the property'?
A. Coordinate moving with your Real Estate Agent.


Our responsibility is to act as a neutral third party and carry out the mutual written instructions of the Buyer and Seller

Escrow is to receive documents, lender's instructions, title reports and act as a depository for money.

When all documents required by written instructions are received by the escrow holder, all written instructions have been complied with, and all funds have been deposited into escrow, we will "close" the escrow and prepare closing statements showing all disbursements and charges.



You've found that dream home and ...


Make reservations with a moving company or truck rental company.
Hold a garage sale - sort through your "treasures" hidden in the garage, closets, etc.
Make any necessary repairs; arrange for any necessary cleaning services


Get a Change Of Address kit from the Post Office
Open necessary bank accounts at your new location and transfer funds
Make arrangements to transfer your insurance coverage - Auto, Fire, Health & Life
Obtain copies of medical records from-your doctor and dentist; transfer prescriptions.
Contact Vital Records and get copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.
Contact the utility companies (Gas, Electric, Water, Cable, Trash Disposal) and advise them of your moving, a date to arrange cancellation of service.
Cancel or transfer your newspaper subscriptions.

Contact your pediatrician for all of your children's medical records including immunization records.
Obtain copies of your children's school records and transfer to new school district.
 El Let them have some special time with their friends - this will help them adjust better

Make necessary arrangements for moving your pets; obtain medical records from your Veterinarian.
Find out about licensing requirements for your new location.

Defrost and empty the freezer and refrigerator. Store food in cooler or give to family or neighbors, if necessary.
Arrange to have cash or traveler's checks until you can open a bank account at your new location; store jewelry and other valuables in a safe place to take with you.
Pack an overnight bag with your personal items and clothing.
Take care of those last few loads of laundry and any dry cleaning necessary.
Pack your "first day" box and include towels, personal items, dish soap/cleaning supplies, utility knife, paper products, coffee, and all those "can't live without" items.

Do your final walk through; double check closets, drawers, and shelves. Inspect the basement, attic and garage for anything you may have forgotten to pack.
Turn off the water; lock all the doors and windows.
Leave the keys with a neighbor or your Real Estate agent.



  Superior Real Estate Group
13833 Beach Boulevard
Westminster, CA 92683
Realtor:  Katherine Phan
DRE Lic:  #02098766
Direct Line: 
Website:   www.katherinephanrealtor.com
Email:  katherinephan.home@gmail.com