Buying or selling a home can be complicated and difficult to prepare for. Many find themselves overwhelmed by the process alone. This is not surprising considering the largest portion involves a third-party neutral fiduciary, also referred to as the escrow, or escrow agent, who essentially takes over the transaction in an effort to bring everything to a joyful conclusion. With a little bit of information, you can better prepare and position yourself to enjoy the journey.
The escrow process begins when the Buyer and Seller have executed a Purchase Agreement and it concludes when the Buyer is handed the keys.
The process in a nutshell; the escrow opens and a buyer’s earnest deposit is received; the escrow will then prepare various documents and forms for the Buyer and Seller to complete; simultaneously they will order a preliminary title report and review the contents once the report is completed; if the Buyer and Seller have returned their documents in a timely manner, a review is performed to ensure all the necessary information has been received; contact is made with the Buyer’s lender (if financed) and various information, forms and figures will be exchanged to give the Buyer an accurate estimate of the loan costs, payment, etc.; the lender will send final loan documentation to the escrow company to arrange the signing of the documents and loan funding; the Buyer will arrange to send in all remaining down-payment funds and the new lender will fund the loan; once all funds are received then the Grant Deed is sent to the County Recorders office to formalize the transfer of ownership. A final accounting will be done with all bills being paid and proceeds being refunded to the parties.
As you now know, the majority of the effort expended by the escrow professional is in coordination of the various parties involved. They will coordinate activities with several parties, ensuring each step has been satisfactorily completed in the proper order.
The key to succeeding in any endeavor is participation. As an informed consumer you now possess vital knowledge that will help to prepare you for that liberating leap into home-ownership.


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