FAQ of Real Estate  房地产问题与解答


For any questions or answers you can‘t find in this page, please feel free to contact Vicki

for free one-to-one consulation.


1. How I start to buy a house?
1) Be prepared to be a homewoner.

2) Find a Realtor to help you. Make sure the Realtor not only is willing to listen to your concerns, but also know the community well.

3) Get a Mortgage Pre-approval letter(As a senior licensed loan officer, Vicki can provide you free loan-approval letter).
4) Relator searchs and recommends house for you. You chose houses.

5) Make an offer.

6) Agents work with title company, buyer, seller, lender, loan officer, appraiser, etc to 

7) Closing

For more and detailed information, please contact Vicki for free one-one consultant.


2. What is the process of selling my house?

Traditionally, spring and summer are "prime time" in most areas of the country when it comes to buying and selling homes. If that's when you plan to plant your "for sale" sign, here are 10 things you can do beforehand:

10 steps to selling

Step 1: Plan and Prepare to Sell Your House
Step 2: Find a qualified Realtor to know more about local real estate market.
Step 3: Set marketing plan and Price. It may involve rehab, staging, inspection, etc.
Step 4: Market the property with maxium explos to public, including MLS, newspaper, website, mass email, flyer, open house, etc. ,
Step 5: Sell it: find the best buyer and close the transaction on time.
Step 6: Closing: pay off former loan, and pro-rate propety tax.
Step 7: Moving: transfer the keys, garage opener, etc.


Want to know what Vicki can do for a quick and good sale, please contact Vicki .


3. Rent or Own?

The chart below shows a cost comparison for a renter and a homeowner over a 7 year period.

The renter starts out paying $800 per month with annual increases of 5% The homeowner purchases a home for $110,000 and pays a monthly mortgage of $1,000

After 6 years, the homeowner's payment is lower than the renter's monthly payment

With the tax savings of homeownership, the homeowner's payment is less than the rental payment after 3 years















For Rent vs Buy calculater, please click link: http://www.trulia.com/rent_vs_buy/


4. Whom buyer and buyer agent will work with during buying process?

1) Loan officer

2) Escrow officer and Title Company

3) Inspectors

4) Appraiser

5) HOA 

6) listing agent

5. What are the common ways to hold title? 
Title to real property in California may be held by individuals, either in Sole Ownership or in Co-Ownership. Co-Ownership of real property occurs  when the title is held by two or more persons.
Sole Ownership

1. A Single Man/Woman

A man or woman who is not legally married. Example: JohnDoe, a singleman.

2. An Unmarried Man/Woman

A man or woman, who having been married is legally divorced or, a man or woman, having been in a registered domestic partnership that has been legally dissolved. Example: John Doe, an unmarried man.

3. A Married Man, Woman, or Registered Domestic Partner, As His/Her Sole and Separate Property.

When a married man, woman or a registered domestic partner wishes to acquire title in his or her name alone, the spouse/partner must consent, by quitclaim deed or otherwise, to transfer thereby relinquishing all right, title and interest in the property. Example: John Doe, a domestic partner, as his sole and separate property.



4. Community Property

The California Civil code defines community property as property acquired by husband and wife, or by either. Real property conveyed to a married man or woman is presumed to be community property, unless otherwise stated. Under community property, both spouses have the right to dispose of one half of the community property. If a spouse does not exercise his/her right to dispose of one-half to someone other than his/her spouse, then the one-half will go to the surviving spouse without administration. If a spouse exercises his/her right to dispose of one-half, that half is subject to administration in the estate.

5. Joint Tenancy

A joint tenancy estate is defined in the Civil Code as follows: A joint interest is owned by two or more persons in equal shares, by title created by a single will or transfer, when expressly declared in the will or transfer to be joint tenancy. A chief characteristic of joint tenancy property is the right of survivorship. When a joint tenant dies, title to the property immediately vests in the surviving joint tenant(s). As a consequence, joint tenancy property is not subject to disposition by will.

6. Tenancy In Common

Under tenancy in common, the co-owners own undivided interests; but unlike joint tenancy, these interests need not be equal in quantity or duration, and may arise at different times. There is no right of survivorship: each tenant owns an interest which, on his or her death, vests in his or her heirs or devisees.

7. Trust

Title to real property in California may be held in a title holding trust, The trust holds legal and equitable title to the real estate. The trustee holds title for the trustor/beneficiary who retains all of the management rights and responsibilities.

8. Community Property With Right of Survivorship

Community Property of a husband and wife, when expressly declared in the transfer document to be community property with the right of survivorship, and which may be accepted in writing on the face of the document by a statement signed or initialed by the grantees, shall, upon the death of one of the spouses, pass to the survivor, without administration, subject to the same procedures as property held in joint tenancy. Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights and protections


Click here to download the "8 Common Way to Hold Title" provided by Chicago Title Company.

6. What is the closing cost for a transaction?

There are two types of costs or expenses in an escrow: the recurring closing costs (RCC) and the non-recurring closing costs (NRCC). 

Recurring Closing Costs(RCC): Costs which the party pays at closing but will continue to occur or be repeated after the escrow closes as a cost of maintaining the property.

Non-Recurring Closing Costs(NRCC): Costs which are charged ONE TIME ONLY as an expense of closing the transaction.


Some costs are typically paid by seller, some by buyer. Please see below questions and answers for detailed information.

7. What are the typical Buyer closing costs in Northern California?

Some typical buyer closing costs in Northern California may include the following. Note: what party pays for some of these costs may be negotiable under the Purchase Agreement, and not mandatory to be paid by either the buyer or seller.


Non-Recurring Closing Costs(NRCC):

  • The down payment

  • Buyer’s portion of escrow fee

  • Buyer's portion of title insurance

  • Loan fees (origination fee, application fee, point, credit report fee, flood certification fee. etc)

  • Appraisal fee

  • Inspection fees

  • Home warranty plan if pay by buyer according to Purchase Agreement

  • Homeowner's association transfer fee or other related fee if pay by buyer according to Purchase Agreement

  • Buyer’s portion of city transfer taxes

  • Miscellaneous fees (notary fees, recording fees, etc.)

  • Other fees as per the Purchase Agreement


Recurring Closing Costs(RCC):

  • Prepaid interest on the loan

  • Homeowner's insurance

  • Homeowner's association dues (prorated)

  • Property taxes (prorated)

  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

  • Any impounds on the loan


Please click here for information of typical closing cost paid by buyer/seller in different county of California.

8. What are typical seller closing costs in Northern California?

Some typical seller closing costs in Northern California may include the following. Note:  what party pays for some of these costs may be negotiable under the Purchase Agreement, and not mandatory to be paid by either the buyer or seller.


  • Remaining balance of seller’s loan if the seller has not yet paid for the house in full.

  • Broker's commission(listing agent and selling agent)

  • Seller’s portion of escrow fee

  • Seller's portion of the title insurance

  • County transfer taxes

  • Seller’s portion of city transfer taxes

  • Disclosure report fee

  • Homeowner's association transfer fee or other related fee if pay by seller according to Purchase Agreement

  • Pest control inspection and work to be done for clearance

  • Home warranty plan if pay by seller according to Purchase Agreement

  • Homeowner's association dues (prorated)

  • Property taxes (prorated)

  • Miscellaneous fees (notary fees, recording fees, etc.)

  • Other fees as per the Purchase Agreement

9: Are there standard ways to determine how much a home is worth?


A: Yes. A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the two most common and reliable ways to determine a home's value.

Your real estate agent can provide a comparative market analysis, an informal estimate of value based on the recent selling price of similar neighborhood properties. Reviewing comparable homes that have sold within the past year along with the listing, or asking, price on current homes for sale should prevent you from overpricing your home or underestimating its value.

A certified appraiser can provide an appraisal of a home. After visiting the home to check such things as the number of rooms, improvements, size and square footage, construction quality, and the condition of the neighborhood, the appraiser then reviews recent comparable sales to determine the estimated value of the home.

You also can check recent sales in public records, through private firms, and on the Internet to help you determine a home’s potential worth.

10: What is title insurance? Why I need buy title insurance?

A: Title insurance is An insurance policy--protecting against loss should the condition of title to land be other than as insured.


When you purchase your home, how can you be sure that there are no problems with the home's title and that the seller really owns the property? Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as bring financial loss. That is what a title insurance are for.  After your sales contract has been accepted, a title professional will search the public records to look for any problems with the home's title. This search typically involves a review of land records going back many years. The way to avoid losing everything is to buy title insurance, which is available from title insurance companies, title agents, or, in some states, attorneys. The policy protects you by making the insurance company liable for most claims against your ownership. Make sure you understand the policy you're buying — what it covers and what's excluded.

11:What does title insurance cost?

A: The cost varies, depending mainly on the value of the property. The important thing to remember is the owner only pay once when she/her puchased the property, then the coverage continues in effect for so long as the owner have an interest in covered property. If owner should die, the coverage automatically continues for the benefit of his/her heirs. If owner sells his/her property, giving warranties of title to the buyer, the coverage continues. Likewise, if a buyer buy the property with mortgage, the coverage continues to protect the security interest in the property. For an $700,000 purchase, the owner title insurance could cost around $1,800.


12:Why I need pay two title insurances why I buy my house?

A: There are two types of policies - owner and lender.


Just as lenders require fire insurance and other types of insurance coverage to protect their investment, nearly all institutional lenders also require title insurance "a loan policy" (lender's title insurance) to protect their interest in the collateral of loans secured by real estate. The Loan Policy is usually based on the dollar amount of your loan. It only protects the lender's interests in the property should a problem with the title arise. It does not protect the buyer. The policy amount decreases each year and eventually disappears as the loan is paid off.


Buyers purchasing properties for cash or with a mortgage lender often want title insurance "an owner policy" as well(owner's title insurance). A loan policy provides no coverage or benefit for the buyer/owner and so the decision to purchase an owner policy is independent of the lender's decision to require a loan policy. An Owner's Policy provides assurance that your title company will stand behind you — monetarily and with legal defense if needed — if a covered title problem arises after you buy your home. The bottom line is that your title company will be there to help pay valid claims and cover the costs of defending an attack on your title