NEIGHBORHOOD HOME SALES

Andy & Autumn

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Explanation Of The Escrow Process:


Once a buyer and a seller get together, it’s time to open escrow: a one to three month process that will officially transfer ownership of the property.  This escrow process involves several key entities and can be very stressful to the uninitiated.  However, the one thing for both buyer and seller to remember is that all of the parties involved are interested in the same objective: to close escrow.  Nothing happens and no one gets paid until your escrow is closed.

What can you do to make sure things run smoothly?  Here are ten tips that every buyer and seller should know in preparing for a trouble-free escrow process. 

1. Select a licensed Real Estate Agent to Represent you.

 2. Choose an Independent Escrow provider -- you have a choice. Remember only independent escrow providers licensed by the California Department of Corporations are 100% neutral third parties.  Their only concern is to monitor the real estate transaction and safeguard trust account funds.  Independent Escrow providers are specialists whose sole purpose is providing escrow.  ESCROW IS THEIR ONLY BUSINESS.

 3. Sellers: Eliminate surprises – if you have judgements against your property and don’t say anything to any one, you should know that a search of public records is automatic, and will reveal any liens.  If you don’t let your broker or escrow officer know about potential problems in advance, your escrow will most definitely be delayed.

 4. Buyers: Eliminate surprises – if you have questionable credit, tell your broker or mortgage lender.  They know the steps you need to take to clean up your credit.  Every lender will require a credit report.  Today, many borrowers go through a pre-qualification process before looking for a home.  If your are pre-qualified, you know how much of a loan you can obtain and therefore how much you can spend on your new home.

 5. Be responsive – the escrow officer may periodically contact you requesting pertinent information.  There is always a good reason for the request.  Just ask the escrow officer if they need more details; then please provide. Remember your transaction is not complete until the escrow is closed.  Don’t think, “If I don’t respond, maybe they’ll forget about it.”

 6. Be prompt – you will be required to meet with an escrow officer when it is time to sign the loan documents.  If you are not on time, the officer will take the next appointment and you may be the one waiting.  Remember signing documents is at least a 60 minute affair.  Remember: all persons taking title will need to sign the loan documents.

 7.  Insurance – make sure you have addressed your insurance needs.  Select an insurance agent and inform your escrow officer in advance.  Talk with your agent to determine you insurance needs.  You must have fire insurance.  You may also want a homeowners policy.  Most lenders require title insurance as well. Your lender will require the name and address of your insurance agent. Be sure to have this information well in advance of the escrow closing.

 8. Walk–throughs – make sure you have completed all walk-throughs, inspections and other contingencies such as termite inspections and any permits.  Many things can delay the close.  Be informed and prepared.

 9. Documents – To expedite the escrow closing, bring the following items with you to your appointment:

                Buyer & Sellers – Drivers license or passport (photo ID)

                Buyer Only – The name and address of your homeowners insurance agent

                Seller Only – If your home is a condominium, make sure you have a copy of the homeowners association information

10. Many people are involved in most real estate transactions.  It takes cooperation and communication between all of these entities to ensure a smooth escrow close.  A  positive outlook and a quick response to anything asked of you will encourage this cooperation. Many things can hold up an escrow – make sure you’re not one of them.

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