The Escrow Process for Sellers

September 8, 2021

The Escrow Process for Sellers
When listing your home for sale, more often than not, you’re focused on the process of selling your home. Once in escrow it’s good to be prepared for the escrow process. The following lays out the steps that lead to closing the sale.
 
When you accept an offer your listing agent will notify escrow. The day after acceptance is technically the first day of the escrow period. The escrow company opens a file and begins the process of collecting everything needed to close your sale. As a seller, you’re responsible for completing a statement of information, providing information on outstanding loans, and finally, notarizing the grant deed that escrow prepares.
 
When you have a signed contract you’ll need to allow for the buyer’s inspections on the property. Providing access to inspectors and contractors is a must! After all, you need the buyer to feel comfortable with what they’re buying, and you want the the buyer to maintain their enthusiasm…. buying a home is exciting! Home inspections can take three to four hours. Remember, follow up appointments with specialists like Electricians or Plumbers may also be necessary. The due diligence period tends to last 10 to 14 days in our current market. I feel it’s an absolute must to vacate the home during these inspections. We want to give the buyers and their inspector space to operate. They don’t need explanations for anything either. They can ask questions after the fact.
 
Additionally, you’ll need to allow the lender’s appraiser access to home. These appraisal appointments last about 30 minutes. The appraisal should be completed within the first 10 or so days in order to keep the buyer’s full loan approval on schedule. Remember, you’ll want to keep your home in order. Pretend you’re preparing for another showing. You’re welcome to stay home during the appraisal. Typically, it’s just the appraiser who shows up, not the agents.
 
Once you have accepted an offer you should start planning your move. In hindsight, it would be best to plan your move before listing your house. This would include investigating where you’ll live next and how you’re going to get yourself, and your belongings, there. Notice I said PLAN. Nothing is a sure thing until the buyer removes all their contingencies a little bit down the road on the schedule.
 
Once a buyer removes their contingencies then it’s time pack and move. Contingencies include a buyer’s investigation, appraisal, and full loan approval. We try to get a full sign-off from a buyer within 17 days of entering escrow. That allows for an additional 13 days for a seller to vacate the property.
 
Within three days of closing a seller needs to allow for a buyer’s final walk-through. This allows the buyer to ensure the home is in the same condition it was when they made their offer. It is also a time to verify that any repairs agreed to were completed. A buyer will want to see that a seller has made significant progress with their move as well.
 
In California the close of escrow is a little anticlimactic. There is no meeting or exchange of keys in the escrow office. Escrow simply collects the buyer’s down payment, gets the lender to fund their loan, and then has the county record the sale once all conditions are met. You will handover keys on the day you close. Typically, we get notified of the closing later in the afternoon or early in the evening.
 
Sellers receive funds the day after closing. Funds can be wired or delivered in the form of a check (but not one of those large Golf Tournament Checks). You’ll want to cancel your insurance and utilities at this time. Don’t worry, escrow pays off your mortgage. Escrow will also deliver you your closing statement. You’ll want to keep that for tax time!
 
Congratulations, your home is sold!

Recent Blog Posts

Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.

The DST is Ideal For Aging Investment Property Owners

February 15, 2024

Perch Wealth, Featured in BIZNOW, explains DSTs

Mortgage Rates, Home Values & The Rental Market

September 28, 2022

Mortgage interest rates play a huge role in home values. These rates are now at 2002 levels, up sharply from all time lows in 2021. The average 30 year fixed mortgage … Read more

Out of State Investing

April 7, 2022

Let’s face it… A lot of real estate investors are priced out of California, and prices are continuing to climb. Here is an example. In 2012 an investor could purchase … Read more

Out of State Investing

April 6, 2022

Let’s face it… A lot of real estate investors are priced out of California, and prices are continuing to climb.

Use a Liquidator Instead

March 16, 2022

Market Real Estate specializes in selling inherited properties. Oftentimes our clients have a quite a project on their hands. One of their biggest concerns is what to … Read more

Use a Liquidator Instead

March 15, 2022

Market Real Estate specializes in selling inherited properties.

Pre-Sale Improvements that Add Value

January 6, 2022

We highly recommend a fresh coat of paint. Paint creates a huge return on investment. The “in-style” colors seem to change fairly quickly these days. We went from tans… Read more

Pay Off Your Mortgage Quickly

December 30, 2021

Going back a few generations there was very little credit extended to people interested in purchasing real estate. Fast forward to the first decade of the 2000’s credi… Read more

Appeal of Cash Buyers… Let’s make you one!

December 14, 2021

There is a lot of competition amongst buyers in our housing market. There are simply more buyers than properties available. There also happens to be quite a few buyers… Read more

Let's Talk

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.