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Escrow: Now What?| Hitchcock Properties

Congratulations, you are on your way to owning your very own home! Follow these suggestions (and the advice of your REALTOR®) so that escrow and settlement with go as smooth as possible.

You will be asked for a down payment on the home you are purchasing. You can choose to put down as much or as little as you want (depending on your mortgage), but remember, the more you put down toward the total price of your home, the less time it will take you to pay off and the less your mortgage payments will be every month.

During this period of purchasing your home, you are going to need an escrow or settlement company to act as an independent third party so that you know when and who to give your money to get the deed to your new home. The escrow or settlement company will hold your deposit and coordinate much of the activity that goes on during the escrow period. This deposit check may also be held by an attorney or in the broker's trust account. Make sure that there are sufficient funds in your account to cover this check.

The deposit check will be cashed. Assuming the sale goes through, this money will be applied to the purchase price of the home. If for any reason the sale is not consummated, you may be entitled to receive all of your deposit back, less standard cancellation fees. In certain instances, the seller may be able to retain this money as liquidated damages. Prior to executing a purchase contract, it would be wise to speak with your counsel regarding whether or not it is your best interest to have a liquidated damages clause as part of the contract.

1. The period that you are "in escrow" is often 30 days, but may be longer or shorter. During this time, each item specified in the contract must be completed satisfactorily. By the time you have opened escrow, you have come to an agreement with the seller on the closing date and the contingencies. Each contract is different, but most include the following: 1. Inspection contingency: this should be completed as soon as possible after the contract to purchase is signed as unsatisfactory results of the inspection may mean that you will want to cancel the contract.
2. Financing contingency: Once the contract is signed, you have a period of time to secure funding. If, for any reason, you are unable to secure funding during the period of time granted to you by the contract (and the seller will not provide a written extension of time), you must decide whether you want to remove the contingency and take your chances on getting a loan. You may choose to cancel the purchase contract.
3. A requirement that the seller must provide marketable title. With an attorney or title officer, review the title report. The title must be "clear" to ensure that you do not have legal issues regarding your ownership. Check into local and state ordinances regarding property transfer and make sure that you and/or the seller have complied with them.
4. Secure homeowner's insurance. This will probably be required before you can close the sale. Due to such requirements as special fire and earthquake insurance, obtaining this insurance may require a lengthy period of time. It would be in your best interest to apply for insurance as soon as possible after the contract is signed.
5. Contact local utility companies to schedule to have service turned on when you close escrow.
6. Schedule the final walk-through inspection. At this time, you should make sure that the property is exactly as the contract says it should be. What you thought to be a "permanently attached" chandelier that would come with the property might have been removed by the seller and replaced with a different fixture entirely.

You've made it! Once the sale has closed, you're the proud owner of a new home. Congratulations!

What Our Clients Think About Us!
We did not know a soul when we came down to Panama City and then we met Brenton. Our experience in finding our home with him was great. He jumped right in and lined up 11 houses on our first day. # 9 was the winner! The rest of the process went very smooth all the way until we got our keys. We cant thank him enough and would recommend him to anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home.
Brenton is very personable, professional, trustworthy, and conscientious. He first managed our out-of-state property for us for several years. He always responded quickly to any inquiry and handled things very efficiently. He remained level headed and stayed on top of things even in the peak rental seasons. We enjoyed a very positive relationship with him because of his stellar service. As our realtor, he was knowledgeable in negotiating harmoniously with the other party on our behalf, and timely in overseeing the legal transaction and sale of our condo. We highly recommend Brenton to handle your real estate needs!
Carol Bruce
Working with Brenton was the best! He made the whole buying process so easy! And he is so knowledgeable about the local market and anything else you may need! I would 100% recommend Hitchcock Properties in the PCB/St Andrews area!
Thank you Brenton
Morgan Boyne
Monica is absolutely top notch! She definitely goes the extra mile and then some. This was hands down our best and most informed, easiest, and best property purchasing experience
Thomas Frick
10/10 recommend Rose Abbott! Amazing lady to work with very informative and pleasant to be around! Takes her time to find you the property that best fits your lifestyle and family. Rose is on her game!! Makes the buying process way less stressful, would absolutely recommend anyone to work with her!!
Amiyah Weeks
I cannot think of anyone I would trust more to find a home that would meet my families needs than Stacey Ellis. She is a talented real estate agent because she takes the time to learn about your family and the details about your lifestyle that will help you find the home of your dreams. She is an incredibly kind person who truly has your best interest at heart when helping you find a home that you will be happy with and look forward to spending time with your family in each and every day.
Rachel Pethe
Stacey Ellis is the best realtor and makes the buying process easy and fun! She is professional, friendly, and so efficient. I appreciate her communication and answering all my questions along the way. I highly recommend Stacey to help you find your next home or any other of your real estate needs !
Kara Davis
The BEST Real Estate company in Panama City! I would highly recommend. They are always able to get the deal closed. Amazing costumer service. You won’t find a group of people more trustworthy and ready to work with.
Jon Manning
Joe Echols with Hitchcock properties was the best choice for our recent condo purchase. He was the epitome of professionalism and went above and beyond to meet our needs and address any concerns we had. From offer to closing the process with Joe could not have been any better!
Kimberly H.
Joe went above and beyond helping us with our home search from out of state! He was prompt with communication and thorough with pictures, videos, and house info. We appreciate so much all of the work that he did in helping our family!
Jeniffer Funk
We highly recommend Cindy Hadden with Hitchcock Properties for anyone interested in purchasing property in Panama City Beach.

Living in Tennessee, we were looking for a property in Panama City Beach that we could purchase for rental purposes. We contacted Cindy at Hitchcock Properties, and let her know when we were coming. She researched for the type of house we were looking for, and arranged a schedule for us to look at several that met our criteria. She spent two solid and busy days with us, and we finally settled on one. We signed a contract, and waited for the inspection process. Unfortunately, the house failed the inspection. But Cindy was not discouraged, and kept telling us she would find us the right house.

We had to go back to Tennesse, but Cindy said she would continue looking. A couple of weeks later, we returned to look at another list of houses that Cindy had scheduled for us. This time we found one that was perfect for us.

The whole time we were in Panama City Beach, Cindy was very persistent, patient, always helpful, professional, and a joy to work with.

Dave and Barbara Dorris
Dave Dorris
Stacey Ellis worked with us to find our condo. She was really great and took the time to show us several places. Stacey was always available when we wanted to see something and was great about keeping us informed! It was a pleasure to work with her and we found the perfect condo for us!
Amy Porter
Monica went above and beyond expectations for an agent! I highly recommend her to anyone looking for an agent. She made our experience feel more personable.
Paige Cupp
Cindy Hadden helped us buy our first home and was so helpful! She answered a million questions and helped us find the perfect home. We closed on Friday! I would highly recommend Cindy if you’re looking for an attentive realtor with fantastic and quick communication.
Jayson Roach
Happy! Happy! This is the best way to describe my experience with Hitchcock Properties and Realty. With expert Realty support, our agent, Cindy Hadden, showed my wife and I numerous properties in Panama City Beach. And we found what we were looking for ! We closed on this beautiful ocean front Condo within 2 weeks of finding it, and are enjoying the vacation home/condo with our family ! THANK YOU, Cindy ,for all your help and professional service. I would definitely recommend Hitchcock Properties for your real estate needs. The Pierce's
Duane Pierce
Happy! Happy! This is the best way to describe my experience with Hitchcock Properties and Realty. With expert Realty support, our agent, Cindy Hadden, showed my wife and I numerous properties in Panama City Beach. And we found what we were looking for ! We closed on this beautiful ocean front Condo within 2 weeks of finding it, and are enjoying the vacation home/condo with our family ! THANK YOU, Cindy ,for all your help and professional service. I would definitely recommend Hitchcock Properties for your real estate needs. The Pierce's
Duane Pierce
I pray that we are able to influence you (who is searching for Real Estate Agent) on choosing Hitchcock Properties and Monica Kubisz as your agent, we hope you read this well. Because if you know me, you know that I reserve my recommendations to only the best. Our recommendation is of the upmost, sincere and confidence for the professional performance that Monica and the Hitchcock Properties team executed to find our beach front investment property.

We can’t say enough of the Hitchcok Properties professionalism and efforts to assist us with our investment property.

As we searched for needle in the haystack, Monica was confident all the way and executed our needs to the T. She did a great job of listening to our needs and does not waste time showing properties which do not meet the our objectives. Her research to assist with assessing a fair market value of the property for the offer and then negotiates effectively with the opposing broker on our behalf was on point. She is extremely responsive to questions, often responding immediately to our late night emails and text after midnight. She demonstrated great attention to the details enabling the transaction to get done. I have the highest level of confidence in her and recommend the outstanding team to all of my friends and family.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to leave a comment and I will reply.

I would say good luck, but you only need it if you are not using the Hitchcock Properties Team.. ;-)
Carlos Perez
Brenton did an excellent job selling our Condo and finding us a single family home. It was a tough escrow and Brenton was able to make it feel easy. No Condos had sold in 5 months within our building and he was able to get us 2 offers. We also tasked him with finding us a home with a view and he came through in a short time frame. I would highly recommend Brenton and Hitchcock properties.
Matt Connell
I have worked with Brenton for over five years. He is a true professional, very responsive and very detailed. He makes all the processes very easy. I appreciate what he has done for me and my family. In buying and selling properties over the five years. Also, very good at property management.
Randy L.
These guys were fantastic to deal with! Very responsive and made the whole process simple. Would recommend them to anyone!
Eric hobson