Whether you are buying or selling real estate, the term “escrow” is one that you will hear quite often. With the right real estate agent by your side, you will have someone to help educate and guide you through the process of escrow, however, it is important to educate yourself prior to a real estate sale or purchase to ensure that you are as up to speed as possible. It is important to remember that asking questions is encouraged, there is a lot of real estate lingo that may be thrown around and if you don’t understand what the terminology is referring to, don’t be afraid to ask your agent for an explanation.
In a nutshell, the actual escrow process begins as soon as a seller accepts an offer on their property. The process then closes once the buyer takes possession of the property, most commonly referred to as getting the keys. While this is the simple explanation of escrow, there are a lot of little steps that are between the opening and closing that help move the sale/purchase along to ensure it is successful.
Generally speaking, there are 10 steps that complete the escrow process in a traditional real estate purchase or sale. While each purchase/sale is unique and, in some instances, there may be additional documents requested, in general, these are the steps that are compiled into the opening and closing process of an escrow account:
- Open the Escrow Account
- Receive the Lenders Appraisal (protects from overpaying or being low balled)
- Secure your Financing (for the buyer)
- Approve Seller’s Disclosures (both parties will review)
- Complete Home Inspection (ordered and paid for by the buyer)
- Purchase Insurance (purchased by the buyer)
- Title Report and Insurance (completed by your escrow officer)
- Final Walk-Through
- Review HUD-1 Forms (think of this as a final spreadsheet explaining costs and credits)
- Close Escrow
While there are a lot of small steps within the escrow process, it truly isn’t as daunting as many people believe it to be. As long as you follow the proper steps, communicate with you agent, and ensure that you provide any requested documents within a timely manner, opening and closing escrow should be a simple process.
If you’re currently searching for a new home in the Camano Island area, are ready to speak to a qualified agent regarding listing your home, or have general questions regarding Camano Island real estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time.