Reducing the Escrow Period May Increase Sacramento Closings

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

When I started selling California real estate as an agent in the 1970s, my specialty was 7-day owner-financing escrows. By using owner financing, we didn't rely on a mortgage lender and all of the shenanigans, jumping-of-the-hoops, that obtaining a mortgage entails. Sometimes, I even sold owner-carried mortgages to hard-money lenders and closed those transactions simutaneously, if you can believe that.

I was paid a commission, generally from both sides of the deal, plus I often picked up at least 50% of the discount points for selling the paper. It was a pretty lucatrative business, and I started in real estate by closing about 10 transactions a month. I thought that was how everybody did it. Only years later did I realize that most transactions are conducted nothing like this, there are fiduciary relationships to consider, and we were never going to close an escrow within 7 days again.

You can read more in my personal blog today about What If Sacramento Real Estate Sold and Closed in 3 Days?

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elizabeth weintraub



Weintraub and Wallace Realtors



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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to


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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

While I didn't experience that rambunctious market you did in the 1970s, I have learned over the years that your title line has merit.  It seems the longer a transaction lurks in escrow, the more apt it is to fallout for one reason or another.   While we realize that it takes time to get financing, and to get those inspections completed, as contingencies, they can contribute to unclosed sales.

Jan 23, 2015 05:16 AM #1
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents - ah, the good ol' days with owner financing. Athough I've seen some lately, but all in first position. No 2nds.

Jan 23, 2015 07:17 AM #2
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

You are leaps and bounds ahead of me.  I started way back in 2008.  Interesting on how things were but as you indicated those days are long gone never to return

Jan 23, 2015 07:40 PM #3
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Elizabeth.  Only in California could you do that.

Jan 23, 2015 08:14 PM #4
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Myrl Jeffcoat I hope you're feeling better and that bug has passed you by. I think with long escrows sellers tend to think about how much time they have invested, whereas I am more prone to want to cut ties and go with a buyer we know can close if it drags on and on. But I do whatever my sellers want.

Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® It was the wild wild west with owner financing back in the 1970s. Can't do some of those things today. Too many laws.

James Dray That surprises me, James. You seem like an old veteran. But 7 years is nothing to sneeze at.

Conrad Allen Ha, ha, that's true. At the time, we didn't think we were doing anything wrong, but in retrospect and from the vantage point of being wiser and more experienced, I'm lucky I survived at all.

Jan 24, 2015 04:15 AM #5
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

It's an interesting approach to have all the inspections done up front, and appraisal.  Not sure how it would work practically in our market here in Northern Virginia, but it is an interesting concept that would shake things up.

Jan 24, 2015 07:03 AM #6
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Amen.  I have no idea why I am still alive

Jan 24, 2015 11:29 AM #7
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