Why is it that so little is written or discussed regarding the escrow process? The typically 30-day process in which buyers, sellers, and vendors are working tirelessly to execute on purchase terms is more important than most realize. I often compare the escrow component of a Real Estate transaction to that of a point guard in basketball. Escrow is managing the team, keeping everyone on track, calling plays, distributing to necessary parties, and organizing all efforts to ensure a successful outcome. Just like my basketball example, success can be determined in the preparation and planning. With that, I have compiled a list of 5 tips to help make this 30-day process end with smiles, and keys and monies exchanged.
1. Provide all contact information upfront
We recommend the listing agent or TC to include a contact sheet upfront for escrow to begin reaching out to all parties immediately. With all contact info to all parties, escrow is then able to proactively reach out and communicate to all parties and begin gathering all paperwork and information. The list should include all buyers, all sellers, buyer’s lender, seller’s lender, Title Company, and all transaction coordinators.
2. Complete documentation
The purchase agreement needs to be completed, and all parties must have executed with all signatures. Escrow will need also need the contact info for the HOA company if applicable. Often, escrow is not made aware when there is a 2nd HOA, and this can cause problems and delays with the closing. The more complete the information is upfront, the better the process will be.
3. All parties need to stay local and stay accessible
Do not sell your home and take a trip to the Bahamas. Make that reservation for after the close of escrow. Also, when escrow calls and emails with a request, the quicker you respond, the more time and energy is saved. Check voicemail and email regularly during this 30-day process and respond timely to all vendor requests to ensure an on time close.
Do not be afraid to ask questions through the process. Typically, Escrow moves quickly through a lot of their checklist, but they are never too busy to answer questions and explain how and what documents mean. Escrow also appreciates clear communication on any special requests. An example would be if they prefer to sign documents in the office with a notary, e-sign on their phone or computer, or have a mobile notary visit their home to sign.
5. Get the new lender and escrow introduced asap
The new laws (TRID) require different timelines and guidelines on fee disclosure. The lender and escrow will inevitably need to rely on each other for accurate and timely disclosure of all fees. The sooner they are introduced, the quicker the documents can be produced accurately and the sooner they can be made available for review. This shortens the wait times and helps avoid unnecessary delays when the deal comes closer to final loan docs.
The escrow partnership is an important one. At New Venture Escrow we look to partner with our Real Estate agents to make sure that we deliver a truly memorable 30-day escrow experience for the buyers and sellers that we get referred to us.
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