In Marin County you can expect the escrow period to typically take 30 days. In this important step of finalizing the purchase of your house, you and the seller need a neutral third party to:
To begin this final process, your real estate agent will open an escrow account with a title company immediately after the purchase contract is signed. Title companies not only provide the necessary title insurance, but also handle financing arrangements such as collecting your down payment and funds from your lender, paying off the seller's lender, preparing and recording both a deed from the seller to you and a deed of trust for your lender. Ask your real estate professional to recommend a local title company.
- Hold onto and exchange deeds and money
- Pay off existing loans
- Record deeds
- Prorate the property tax payments
- Help with other transfer details
If your contract contains contingencies, you must remove them in writing and let the escrow holder know they've been removed before the purchase becomes final.
Obtaining Hazard Insurance
- Inspections - Most house purchase contracts give the buyer the right
to have the house inspected. The buyer must approve the results of
their findings before going through with the sale. In order to do this, the buyer usually hires professional inspectors and it is common for
inspectors to find problems. For example, the house may have pest
or wood damage and may require roof repairs or general maintenance. If a report indicates serious problems, you can ask the seller to credit part of the cost, make the repairs, or call off the purchase.
- Financing - The financing contingency serves as the time period in
which you will receive final loan approval. To remove this contingency you should request a loan commitment letter from your lender. Removing this usually means your deposit money becomes non-refundable.
Before finalizing your loan, your lender will require that you purchase hazard insurance to pay the lender in the event that your house is damaged or destroyed by fire, smoke, wind, hail or another similar act. Contact your current insurance provider, or ask your real estate agent to provide you with a list of companies.
Escrow cannot close until the escrow holder records a deed naming you the new owner and issues checks to the seller and all others entitled to be paid from the proceeds. The paperwork that is necessary for closing escrow should be completed a minimum of three working days before the expected closing date. You and the seller must go to the title company to review and sign the papers.