This was an email that I received this morning from one of my buyer clients:
We are so excited that the sellers have accepted our offer and we want to get started on what we need to do. Can you tell us what to expect next? Is there anything that we should be doing? Thanks!
In the spirit of only answering this question once.....
The escrow process, which is the time period between the accepted offer and the closing, goes like this:
1. We need to receive the fully executed purchase agreement with all counter offers, addendums and disclosures signed by all parties. I will then send you a copy along with a check list with the dates that you will need to provide all of the below items to make your closing go smoothly. If you have any further documentation that you have not given to the lender, please make arrangements to do this right away.
2. Once all the documents have been received, I will be sending the listing agent your earnest money check as we discussed. So please make sure that if you need to transfer the money, you do that right away!
3. All documents will need to be sent to the lender including a copy of the earnest money check.
4. I will send you a list of 15-20 home inspectors, termite inspectors, and radon inspectors. There are many in the phone book, but these are ones that I have been acquainted with and I like the way that they do business. You may use any that you wish, but I suggest that you call and find out their availability and pricing first.
5. Once the inspections are ordered, repairs negotiated if necessary and contingencies are released, we will need to let the lender know so that they may order the appraisal to be completed.
6. The lender will arrange for the appraisal to be completed and then we will need to have that approved prior to releasing the final loan approval. Your lender will also arrange for the title opinion to be completed to insure that you have clear title on the property and that your new mortgage will be the only lien against the property.
7. You will call to verify that you can obtain homeowner's insurance on the property and arrange for the prepayment of the first year. Sometimes this can be paid on the settlement statement, but please discuss this with your lender. They may require that the first year of homeowner insurance is to be paid prior to the closing.
8. You will call to arrange for movers if necessary as well as calling the utility companies about 2 weeks prior to the closing. This will insure that everything can get done in time! I will provide you the phone numbers and utility information with your checklist.
9. A day or two prior to closing, we will arrange for a final inspection of the property. By this time, the seller is usually moved out of the house so that we can make sure that everything that was included in the sale of the property is still there and functioning as it was after the home inspections.
10. The closing will be arranged between you and your lender and once all the papers are signed and your down payment is taken, you will receive the keys to your new home!
There is a lot to do during the escrow period and we will be in touch every week to insure that everything is being completed. A typical escrow period is somewhere between 30-60 days depending on the type of loan that you are using to purchase your new home.
It takes a lot of attention by the lender, your agent, and the closing company to make sure that everything is done correctly! Please be patient with your lender as sometimes there will be additional documentation that is required prior to the closing.
Best of luck to you during this exciting time and I will be here if you have any questions!