Escrow

Resource Page

Buyer Side

Congrats! Your offer was accepted!!

What is the Escrow Process!?
The California escrow process requires hiring an Escrow Company. This neutral third party holds the buyer’s funds to meet the terms and conditions of a written purchase contract between the buyer and the seller.
Once the Escrow Officer verifies that all parties completed their obligations under the purchase contract, the buyer’s funds pay for the real property.

Who is involved in the transaction?
a. Escrow Officer
b. Buyer & Seller
c. Title Officer
d. Listing & Selling Agents
e. Lender (if there is a mortgage involved for the Buyer)

Depositing Earnest Money
Earnest money, or good faith deposit, is a sum of money you put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home.
 You typically have three days from today (unless otherwise stated in your contract terms) to ensure that escrow has those monies, so you must move quickly on this step.

Scheduling Inspections
A home inspection is a visual inspection of the structure and components of a home to find items that are not performing correctly or unsafe things. If a problem or symptom of a problem is found, the home inspector will include a description of the problem in a written report and may recommend further evaluation.

  • It is helpful to be there so the home inspector can explain in person and answer any questions you may have. This is an excellent way to learn about your new home, even if no problems are found.
  • For your reference, see the link below to view a list of inspectors we have used over the years. Find the label “Inspectors” on the provider list:

HOME INSPECTORS

Having a home inspection is optional BUT highly recommended, and refer back to the terms of your contract if you waived this step! Please let us know once the inspection is scheduled, and be sure to include details (day/time) so we can coordinate access to the property with the sellers.

What are Contingencies & how do they affect me purchasing a home?

A contingency allows a Buyer (or Seller) to cancel a purchase agreement based upon the happening of a certain event. By default, all of the CAR purchase agreements contain contingencies for loan, appraisal, title, disclosures and investigations.
If a Buyer properly cancels based upon an open contingency, do they lose their deposit?
No. The buyer would be entitled to retain their deposit. Since the buyer has the right to cancel, it is not a breach of the contract.*

These are the 3 main contingencies you may come across during your Escrow:

  1. INSPECTION: The Investigation Contingency is all-encompassing. It includes inspections of the physical attributes of the property, such as a home inspection, lead-based paint inspection, wood pest (termite) inspection, and other conditions that may affect a Buyer’s property use.
    If the Buyer has a good faith dissatisfaction with the property or any condition affecting it, the buyer may cancel the transaction during the investigation contingency period.**
  2. APPRAISAL: The Appraisal Contingency allows the Buyer to withdraw from the transaction if the property does not appraise at the purchase price.
  3. LOAN: The Loan Contingency allows the Buyer to back out of the transaction and receive their earnest money deposit back if they can’t qualify for a loan by the date specified by your contract terms.

Escrow Opening Package | Disclosures, Reports & HOA Documents
In the next several business days, you will receive a Buyer’s Opening Package from escrow containing forms to be completed as soon as possible. The most important forms are your “Vesting Form,” which tells them how you will be holding Title to your property and the Fire Insurance Form. Please note that most lenders will require your Fire Insurance Policy to be in effect before they send out loan documents for signing, so you must get your insurance in place as soon as possible.

  • We will be using Docusign to sign all of your documents.
  • Please be sure to look out for the emails from your Agent & Transaction Coordinator team to review and acknowledge at your earliest convenience- this helps ensure that we are keeping your transaction on the established timeline.
    • Disclosures will be provided by the Seller within the first 7 days of Escrow (unless otherwise stated in your contract terms).
    • You will receive the Seller Property Disclosure (SPQ) & Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) filled out by the Seller, along with all statutory & Broker required disclosures & reports, such as the Natural Hazard Disclosure (NHD).
    • You will be receiving a copy of the preliminary title report.
      • The Prelim, as we call it, is an offer to issue a title insurance policy, and it will describe the terms under which a policy will be issued. The preliminary report will include the owner’s name, property legal description, and any exceptions to the title policy. While every property will have some exceptions, certain exceptions must be removed before a title policy can be issued.
      • Typically, there will be a HYPERLINK in your Preliminary Title Report, which is a link that allows you to review and/or print the Title Report and any items recorded or associated with the property.
      • Please review this report once you see it, and if you have any questions/concerns, either let us or the title officer listed on the report know so that we can help find those answers for you.
  • If your property is located within a Homeowners Association, escrow will provide you the Homeowners Association documents in the form that they are provided to the escrow team. It typically takes anywhere from 10 to 15 days from when we open escrow to see these documents.
    • If the documents are provided in hard copy form, escrow will send them to you via UPS or FedEx.
    • If the documents are provided to the escrow team by the HOA in a link, escrow will forward the link to you for review. Please note that many HOA links will expire, so we suggest that you save a copy of the HOA documents on your computer if you are not requesting them to send you a hard copy.
  • You will need to start shopping around for Homeowners Insurance for your new home. Escrow and your lender will ask for this information from you, and the sooner they have it, the better.
    • Most people like to check first with who they currently have for their car, for example, but it is usually a good idea to shop around and compare quotes!

Negotiations: Request for Repairs | Appraisal [If Applicable]
The negotiations or requests surrounding the inspection results.

  • You may request that the Seller repair or replace defects prior to the close of escrow, lower the purchase price, and/or provide a credit towards your closing costs.
    You may also request the Seller complete Section 1 and/or 2 clearance based on pest inspection reports. (unless otherwise stated in your contract terms)
  • The Seller may agree to all terms, some terms with modifications or may NOT agree to any terms at all.

If the Appraisal comes in under the purchase price, and an appraisal gap has not been incorporated into the contract, the Buyer can request that the purchase price be lowered to the appraised value or back out of the transaction and receive their earnest money deposit back.

Cleared to closed! Now what?

We are nearing our closing date! Here are a few steps to be aware of as we prep for closing on your home should you have a loan (disregard if you are a CASH buyer):

  • Your lender should be preparing and sending out the Closing Disclosure (CD) to you. Please review these details with your lender and sign the CD as soon as you receive it.
    • We have a mandatory 3-day waiting period before we can close once the CD is signed, so they will want you to complete this step quickly.

You will be contacted by escrow to sign loan docs either at the Escrow Company or arrange with the escrow company to have a notary come to you (it can cost more to have a notary come to you).

  • When you go to your signing appointment, you must bring a government-issued photo ID. At this time, the escrow company will also give you wire instructions to send the closing monies. Make sure you do this ASAP following your signing of the loan papers.

Movers | Packing
It’s time to start packing! 😀 Click here for -> MOVING CHECKLIST 

We are happy to announce that we have partnered with a local company (A Smart Move) that offers reusable moving supplies delivered right to you and picked up from you once finished!

Visit A Smart Move and set up your service! ***Be sure to use our discount code at checkout – SerriSR10***
If you are also in need of a Moving Company, here are some referrals to reach out to:
We Like To Move It Movers – 619-483-1505
Esteemed Movers – 619-586-7620
Dominant Movers – 855-699-2299
Flat Bid Movers – 619-964-1603

Happy Packing!

Final Walk Through

A final walk-through (or verification of property condition) is an inspection performed by the Buyer prior to the close of escrow. The purpose is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when the purchase agreement was made. This is also a time for the Buyer to review that all agreed-upon repairs have been completed.

  • You will be inspecting for damages during the move-out, cleanliness, presence of appliances being conveyed, per the contract, receipts from any repairs requested from inspection, and general condition of the property. 

Utilities

You are responsible for transferring utilities into your name effective on the day of closing (unless you gave the seller permission to stay in the home after the close of escrow). Don’t forget so you’re not in the dark. 

Below are a few links to help you with your upcoming transfer and move:

SD COUNTY UTILITIES

RIVERSIDE COUNTY UTILITIES 

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY UTILITIES

Congratulations!

Your agent will be in touch with you about delivering your keys to your NEW HOME!

Seller Side

Congrats! You accepted an offer!

What is the Escrow Process!?
The California escrow process requires hiring an Escrow Company. This neutral third party holds the buyer’s funds to meet the terms and conditions of a written purchase contract between the buyer and the seller.
Once the Escrow Officer verifies that all parties completed their obligations under the purchase contract, the buyer’s funds pay for the real property.

Who is involved in the transaction?
a. Escrow Officer
b. Buyer & Seller
c. Title Officer
d. Listing & Selling Agents
e. Lender (if there is a mortgage involved for the Buyer)

Open Escrow & Receive Transaction timelines from our Transaction Team
Earnest money, or good faith deposit, is a sum of money you put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home.
 You typically have three days from today (unless otherwise stated in your contract terms) to ensure that escrow has those monies, so you must move quickly on this step.

Receive Home Inspection Requests
A home inspection is a visual inspection of the structure and components of a home to find items that are not performing correctly or unsafe things. If a problem or symptom of a problem is found, the home inspector will include a description of the problem in a written report and may recommend further evaluation.

  • It is helpful to be there so the home inspector can explain in person and answer any questions you may have. This is an excellent way to learn about your new home, even if no problems are found.
  • For your reference, see the link below to view a list of inspectors we have used over the years. Find the label “Inspectors” on the provider list:

HOME INSPECTORS

Having a home inspection is optional BUT highly recommended, and refer back to the terms of your contract if you waived this step! Please let us know once the inspection is scheduled, and be sure to include details (day/time) so we can coordinate access to the property with the sellers.

What are Contingencies & how do they affect someone purchasing my home?

A contingency allows a Buyer (or Seller) to cancel a purchase agreement based upon the happening of a certain event. By default, all of the CAR purchase agreements contain contingencies for loan, appraisal, title, disclosures and investigations.
If a Buyer properly cancels based upon an open contingency, do they lose their deposit?
No. The buyer would be entitled to retain their deposit. Since the buyer has the right to cancel, it is not a breach of the contract.*

These are the 3 main contingencies you may come across during your Escrow:

  1. INSPECTION: The Investigation Contingency is all-encompassing. It includes inspections of the physical attributes of the property, such as a home inspection, lead-based paint inspection, wood pest (termite) inspection, and other conditions that may affect a Buyer’s property use.
    If the Buyer has a good faith dissatisfaction with the property or any condition affecting it, the buyer may cancel the transaction during the investigation contingency period.**
  2. APPRAISAL: The Appraisal Contingency allows the Buyer to withdraw from the transaction if the property does not appraise at the purchase price.
  3. LOAN: The Loan Contingency allows the Buyer to back out of the transaction and receive their earnest money deposit back if they can’t qualify for a loan by the date specified by your contract terms.

Escrow Opening Package | Disclosures, Reports & HOA Documents
In the next several business days, you will receive a Buyer’s Opening Package from escrow containing forms to be completed as soon as possible. The most important forms are your “Vesting Form,” which tells them how you will be holding Title to your property and the Fire Insurance Form. Please note that most lenders will require your Fire Insurance Policy to be in effect before they send out loan documents for signing, so you must get your insurance in place as soon as possible.

  • We will be using Docusign to sign all of your documents.
  • Please be sure to look out for the emails from your Agent & Transaction Coordinator team to review and acknowledge at your earliest convenience- this helps ensure that we are keeping your transaction on the established timeline.
    • Disclosures will be provided by the Seller within the first 7 days of Escrow (unless otherwise stated in your contract terms).
    • You will receive the Seller Property Disclosure (SPQ) & Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) filled out by the Seller, along with all statutory & Broker required disclosures & reports, such as the Natural Hazard Disclosure (NHD).
    • You will be receiving a copy of the preliminary title report.
      • The Prelim, as we call it, is an offer to issue a title insurance policy, and it will describe the terms under which a policy will be issued. The preliminary report will include the owner’s name, property legal description, and any exceptions to the title policy. While every property will have some exceptions, certain exceptions must be removed before a title policy can be issued.
      • Typically, there will be a HYPERLINK in your Preliminary Title Report, which is a link that allows you to review and/or print the Title Report and any items recorded or associated with the property.
      • Please review this report once you see it, and if you have any questions/concerns, either let us or the title officer listed on the report know so that we can help find those answers for you.
  • If your property is located within a Homeowners Association, escrow will provide you the Homeowners Association documents in the form that they are provided to the escrow team. It typically takes anywhere from 10 to 15 days from when we open escrow to see these documents.
    • If the documents are provided in hard copy form, escrow will send them to you via UPS or FedEx.
    • If the documents are provided to the escrow team by the HOA in a link, escrow will forward the link to you for review. Please note that many HOA links will expire, so we suggest that you save a copy of the HOA documents on your computer if you are not requesting them to send you a hard copy.
  • You will need to start shopping around for Homeowners Insurance for your new home. Escrow and your lender will ask for this information from you, and the sooner they have it, the better.
    • Most people like to check first with who they currently have for their car, for example, but it is usually a good idea to shop around and compare quotes!

Negotiations: Request for Repairs | Appraisal [If Applicable]
The negotiations or requests surrounding the inspection results.

  • You may request that the Seller repair or replace defects prior to the close of escrow, lower the purchase price, and/or provide a credit towards your closing costs.
    You may also request the Seller complete Section 1 and/or 2 clearance based on pest inspection reports. (unless otherwise stated in your contract terms)
  • The Seller may agree to all terms, some terms with modifications or may NOT agree to any terms at all.

If the Appraisal comes in under the purchase price, and an appraisal gap has not been incorporated into the contract, the Buyer can request that the purchase price be lowered to the appraised value or back out of the transaction and receive their earnest money deposit back.

Cleared to closed! Now what?

We are nearing our closing date! Here are a few steps to be aware of as we prep for closing on your home should you have a loan (disregard if you are a CASH buyer):

  • Your lender should be preparing and sending out the Closing Disclosure (CD) to you. Please review these details with your lender and sign the CD as soon as you receive it.
    • We have a mandatory 3-day waiting period before we can close once the CD is signed, so they will want you to complete this step quickly.

You will be contacted by escrow to sign loan docs either at the Escrow Company or arrange with the escrow company to have a notary come to you (it can cost more to have a notary come to you).

  • When you go to your signing appointment, you must bring a government-issued photo ID. At this time, the escrow company will also give you wire instructions to send the closing monies. Make sure you do this ASAP following your signing of the loan papers.

Movers | Packing
It’s time to start packing! 😀 Click here for -> MOVING CHECKLIST 

We are happy to announce that we have partnered with a local company (A Smart Move) that offers reusable moving supplies delivered right to you and picked up from you once finished!

Visit A Smart Move and set up your service! ***Be sure to use our discount code at checkout – SerriSR10***
If you are also in need of a Moving Company, here are some referrals to reach out to:
We Like To Move It Movers – 619-483-1505
Esteemed Movers – 619-586-7620
Dominant Movers – 855-699-2299
Flat Bid Movers – 619-964-1603

Happy Packing!

Final Walk Through

A final walk-through (or verification of property condition) is an inspection performed by the Buyer prior to the close of escrow. The purpose is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when the purchase agreement was made. This is also a time for the Buyer to review that all agreed-upon repairs have been completed.

  • You will be inspecting for damages during the move-out, cleanliness, presence of appliances being conveyed, per the contract, receipts from any repairs requested from inspection, and general condition of the property. 

Utilities

You are responsible for transferring utilities into your name effective on the day of closing (unless you gave the seller permission to stay in the home after the close of escrow). Don’t forget so you’re not in the dark. 

Below are a few links to help you with your upcoming transfer and move:

SD COUNTY UTILITIES

RIVERSIDE COUNTY UTILITIES 

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY UTILITIES

Congratulations!

You can leave your keys with your agent & pop the champagne! You sold your home!

Helpful Seller Resources

Our Transaction Experts

profpic - profpic-raquel

Rachael Puckett

Transaction Coordinator

tc@thebrandrealty.com
858.933.5256

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Suzee McKay

Transaction Coordinator

tc@thebrandrealty.com
760.800.3180