Buyer Escrow Steps

You’re in Escrow, Now What?

Here are the basic steps of escrow:

  1. Good Faith Deposit — The deposit – typically 3% of the purchase price – is due within 3 days of opening escrow. The deposit is refundable, if you properly exercise a cancellation due to an inspection or loan problem. We’ll help you with this process, if it arises.
  2. Inspections – Unless otherwise negotiated, you typically have 7-10 days to inspect the property. Start with a general home inspection, and let the home inspector recommend additional inspections. Common additional inspections include sewer, chimney and foundation.
  3. Loan – The loan process runs concurrent with the entire escrow. The Schulman Team handles coordinating the loan with the lender and escrow. You’ll have to get the lender your personal financial documentation, but we’ll handle the rest.
  4. Appraisal – The lender will order the appraisal at the outset of escrow, and we’ll make sure to make sure the appraiser gets in to the property. This money is paid up front.
  5. Retrofit – If applicable, we have a 3rd party company come to the house and insure that the property meets the minimum safety standards as dictated by the city. The repairs are made prior to the close of escrow, and you are handed a certification for your records.
  6. Disclosures – The seller provides you with disclosures for the property based on what they know about the property that could be a material defect that affects the value of the home. Your agent will review the disclosures with you. If it is a new construction or bank owned property, the seller will not provide a disclosure.
  7. HOA – If you’re buying a condo or house with an HOA (Homeowners’ Association), you are provided with disclosure about the condition of the HOA, including meeting minutes, financial statement, and any other internal documents. You are also provided rules and regulations governing the complex and information on your parking spot.
  8. Termite Inspection – Typically the seller arranges and pays for a 3rd party company to inspect the property for termites, and provide a clearance for you, and for the lender. Typically the seller covers “Section 1” termite work, which is actively infested and presently damaged areas of the property. Most homes in Los Angeles have a good amount of termite work to be done.
  9. Final Walk Through – Within 5 days prior to close of escrow, the seller will allow access for you to make sure that the property is in substantially the same condition as when you made the offer.
  10. Loan Docs – A few days before the closing, you’ll get documents from the lender. Escrow will arrange a time to sign at your convenience. Once you sign, you are handed information on wiring the balance of the down payment and closing costs to escrow. Typically the loan funds 1-2 business days after signing, and you record escrow the next business day by 5pm.
  11. Keys – By 5pm on the day of close of escrow, you get keys and access to the property. If it is a bank owned property, you likely won’t get clickers, parking permits or common keys, if that is the case, we’ll help coordinate for the HOA to get these to you.