Escrow Process

The Buyer:

  • The buyer makes an offer to purchase, accompanied by a good faith deposit amount.
  • Approves and signs the escrow instructions and other related instruments required to complete the transaction.
  • Approves the preliminary report and any property, disclosure or inspection report called by the purchase agreement.
  • Schedules a home inspection and other necessary inspections such as pest, septic tank, roof, foundation foundation.
  • Approves and signs new loan documents and fulfills any remaining conditions contained in the contract, lender's instructions and/or the escrow instructions.
  • Deposits funds necessary to close the escrow. Approves any changes by signing amendments in the escrow instructions.

The Lender:

  • Accepts the new loan application and other related documents from the Buyer and begins the qualification process.
  • Orders and reviews the property appraisal, credit report, verification of employment, verification of deposits and preliminary report.
  • Submits the entire package to the loan committee and/or underwriters for approval. When approved, loan conditions and title insurance requirements are established.
  • Informs Home Buyer of loan approval terms, commitment expiration date and provides a good faith estimate of the closing costs.
  • Deposits the new loan documents and instructions with the escrow holder for Home Buyer's approval and signature.
  • Reviews and approves the executed loan package and coordinates the loan funding with the escrow officer.

The Escrow Officer:

  • Receives an order for escrow and title services.
  • Orders the preliminary report and examination on the subject property from the Title Company.
  • Accepts documents and monies required to complete the transaction per written instructions of the principals.
  • Prepares the escrow instructions and required documents in accordance with terms of the home sale.
  • Orders demands on existing deeds of trust and liens or judgments.
  • Reviews documents received in the escrow: preliminary report, payoff or assumption statements and new loan package.
  • Reviews the conditions in the lender's instructions including the hazard and title insurance requirements.
  • Presents the documents, statements, loan package, estimated closing statements and other related documents to the principal for approval and signature, and requests the balance of the buyer's funds.
  • Reviews the proceeds of the loan from the lender.
  • Determines when the transaction will be in the position to close and advises the parties.
  • Assisted by title personnel, records the deed, deed of trust and other documents required to complete the transaction with the County Recorder and orders the title insurance policies.
  • Closes the escrow by preparing the final settlement statements, disbursing the proceeds to the Seller, paying off the existing encumbrances and other obligations.
  • Delivers the appropriate statements, funds and remaining documents to the principals, agents and/or lenders.

Title Company:

  • Receives an order for title service.
  • Examines the public records affecting the real property and issues a preliminary report.
  • Determines the requirements and documents needed to complete the transaction and advises the escrow officer and/or agents.
  • Reviews and approves the signed documents, releases and the order for title insurance, prior to the closing date.
  • Records the signed documents with the County Recorder's office and prepares to issue the title insurance policies.

The Home Seller:

  • Accepts Buyer's Offer to Purchase and initial good faith deposit to open escrow.
  • Submits documents and information to escrow holder, such as addresses of lien holders, tax receipts, equipment warranties, home warranty contracts, any leases and/or rental agreements.
  • Approves and signs the escrow instructions, grant deed and other related documents required to complete the transaction.
  • Orders inspections, receives clearances and approves final reports and/or repairs to the property as required by the purchase agreement.
  • Fulfills any remaining conditions specified in the contract and/or escrow instructions; approves the pay off demands and/or beneficiary's statements.
  • Approves any final changes by signing amendments to the escrow instructions or contract.

Real Estate Agent:

  • Coordinates all activities with the escrow company, lender, title company, buyer and seller.
  • Oversees all transactional details.
  • Ensures that all contractual deadlines are met and appropriate paperwork is submitted and communicated to all parties.
  • Negotiates any requests for repairs and assists in obtaining estimates when necessary.