IT’S HAPPENED – your offer was just accepted! While happy dancing is encouraged, be prepared to dance for the next 30+/- days, because you’ve just crossed over into the Escrow Zone.
*que Twilight Zone music*
The escrow period isn’t that terrifying, BUT if you don’t know what to expect it can be a little intimidating, and making the wrong move can hurt the transaction. We are here to share some helpful hints to make the process less stressful.
- Create a Timeline: When you first open escrow, be sure to ask your Escrow Officer or Realtor to give you a map of what the process looks like. We have an example below! It can be helpful to have a visualization of the process. Plus, giving yourself milestones will help you feel like things are progressing, instead of 30 days in the dark! Some great milestones to remember are: Opening Letters, Completed Title Commitment, Signing, and Recording.
- Be Flexible: It is important during the escrow process to keep the big picture in mind. During the escrow process, you will have an appraisal and inspection. Following that it is common for a BINSR to be created to ask for repairs and/or credits. Don’t get so caught up on that one wobbly tile that you lose or delay the deal. Be flexible with your time. Your Escrow Officer, Lender, and Realtor will try to be as accommodating as possible, but documents could come with only a day or two notice for the signing. Knowing to be flexible the week of your closing helps to get your closing documents signed quickly!
- Stay on Top of the Paperwork: The escrow process has a lot of moving parts – one of the best ways to keep everything moving quickly is to handle your part immediately. If your lender or escrow officer asks for a signed document do so immediately. You don’t want the delay to fall on you.
- Create a To-Do List: There are a lot of chores that come with buying or selling a house. It can be overwhelming. Sit with your agent to come up with some clear action steps. We have our to-do list here. Some good things to have handled prior to close include; utilities, shop insurance, learn the neighborhood, schedule lock changes, etc.
- Get Ready for Inspections: No house is perfect and chances are you will receive some bad news with inspection day. One great tip is to be there in person. Inspection reports can sound much more daunting than what an inspector will discuss in person. Information is your friend!
- Watch Your Finances: Spoiler alert – the loan you were pre-qualified for was based off your current finances. Don’t throw off your loan financing by making large purchases during escrow. Chances are, your accounts are being monitored by your lenders and underwriters so don’t buy a new car, quit your job, or spend thousands on furniture. Hold tight until after close for all that!
- Understand Your Closing Date Could Change: When escrow is first opened you will receive a close of escrow date. Think of this date as a target that everyone is aiming for. Delays can come up or sometimes you may close early! You don’t want to find yourself stuck with all the movers outside a home you won’t own for another day.
- RELAX: Breath, we promise your close of escrow date will come. Do everything you can to remain calm and relaxed. All that stress is worth it in the end.