Sellers: Escrow Timelines Part I
Congratulations! You accepted an offer on your property and you’re thinking, NOW WHAT?
The new norm for escrow periods are typically in the 30-45 day range with a few being at the 60 day mark. Within the first week, there will be a considerable amount of paperwork to fill out. Including disclosures regarding the home, property questionnaire, agency disclosures just to name a few.
Day 1: Once escrow has opened, the escrow officer will mail you your specific escrow instructions. Included in the package will typically be your grant deed to notarize, escrow instructions to initial and sign, commission instructions, a tax 593C form, Statement of Information and pay out documentation. The seller must get these documents back to escrow in a timely manner in order for escrow, title and the lender to process.
Day 1 - Day 3: You should receive a confirmation from escrow that the buyer has placed in their Earnest Money Deposit (EMD).
Day 1 to Day 17: The buyer will be doing their due diligence and investigations on your property. Its important to make sure your home is ready and available for the buyer in this time period. You as the seller must also keep on all the utilities through the close of escrow.
After the buyer has completed their inspections and investigations, the buyer could send in a Request for Repairs which will either be asking you to repair an issue or give a credit based on the findings of their inspection. After this has been settled, the buyer will remove their inspection contingency, thus making the EMD go hard. This means they cannot pull out of the transaction without losing their deposit, unless it does not appraise or they cannot get the loan.
Day 17+: If the buyer has an appraisal contingency in their offer, the appraiser will come out to the property usually within the first 3 weeks. As a standard of California law, every home must be properly fitted with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and the water heater must be double strapped. The appraiser will be checking for this. During their visit, they will be taking notes on the property, measuring square footage, and lot square footage to make sure it matches the tax assessor information.
Day 21+: After the appraisal, assuming the buyer is able to secure financing, they will be able to remove their loan contingency.
Within the last 5 days of Close of Escrow: The buyer will do a final walk through to make sure the property is in the same condition as when the offer was made, as well, to check if all the necessary repairs were made from the Request for Repairs, if any. Assuming its goes well, they will sign one of the final forms known as the Verification of Property.
The Close Of Escrow timeline will be detailed in the next post. Head over to our contact page if you have any further questions.
*This is an overview and typical terms and timelines for California Real Estate transactions if there is a loan involved. These are not definitive as each transaction is negotiated different.