Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home! After the initial excitement calms down, reality sets in and it is time to go through the mounds of paper that make up the settlement process.

The first thing you need to know is who the key players involved are:

1 Buyer and Seller - have contracted on an agreed upon sale price to start the process.

2 Real Estate Attorney and/or Settlement Agent - At Acer we are both. As your attorney, our concern is to protect your legal rights and make sure title is marketable. As your settlement agent, we will ensure all appropriate documents are signed and recorded, funds are properly dispersed, and all necessary paperwork is filed timely and correctly.

3 Lender - who is responsible for the loan details from initial application through the actual closing. Acer works closely with your lender to ensure a smooth and trouble free settlement.

4 Real Estate Agents - if you hire a real estate agent to represent you, they will continue to represent your needs right up until closing. We will work with your agent on any matter affecting the condition of the property.

5 Others - could include a home inspector who will check the property to identify potential problems with the current condition of the home; a surveyor who will verify the actual property dimensions; an appraiser who your lender will hire to value the home; and a termite inspector who will check the home for any damage.

The following provides a brief overview of the steps involved to give you a better understanding of the actual process:

1 The process begins when the buyer submits a contract that is accepted by the seller. At this point, you typically will identify a real estate attorney and/or settlement agent (Acer provides both services). Upon receipt of the ratified contract, Acer will begin to work on your transaction.

2 TITLE will be oredered from the land records and then be reviewed for any liens or other outstanding interests in the property. Once identified, Acer will notify the seller of all issues and can work together to clear title prior to settlement.

3 Acer then works directly with your lender and/or broker to address any outstanding issues and bring them to resolution prior to closing. A HUD-1 is prepared, which shows all costs that will be paid by both buyer and seller at closing, as well as any funds that need to be brought to the settlement.

4 At the actual closing, you will need to bring any funds shown on the HUD-1 and picture identification. It is at this stage that you will be asked to sign mounds of paperwork, which will be fully explained to you by your Acer agent. When this process is complete, you will be the new homeowner. Congratulations!