What can you do to make sure things run smoothly in your transaction? Here are some tips that every seller should know in preparing for a trouble-free escrow process.
Choose and Independent Escrow provider — you have a choice. Remember only independent escrow providers licensed by the California Department of Corporations are 100% neutral third parties. Their only concern is to monitor the real estate transaction and safeguard trust account funds. Independent Escrow providers are specialist whose sole purpose is providing escrow. Escrow is their only business.
Sellers: Eliminate surprises — If you have judgments against your property and don't say anything to anyone, you should know that a search of public records is automatic, and will reveal any liens. If you don't let your broker or escrow officer know about potential problems in advance, your escrow will most definitely be delayed.
Be responsive — The escrow officer may periodically contact you requesting pertinent information. There is always a good reason for the request. Just ask the escrow officer if they need more details, then get them the information they need as soon as you can. Remember nothing happens until the escrow is closed. Don't think, "If I don't respond, maybe they'll forget about it."
Be prompt — You will be required to meet with an escrow officer when it is time to sign the loan documents. If you are not on time, the officer will take the next appointment and you may be the one waiting. Remember signing documents is at least a 60-minute affair. The escrow officer will go through and explain each document your must sign. Remember that all persons taking title will need to sign the loan documents.
Insurance — Make sure you have addressed your insurance needs. Select an insurance agent and inform your escrow officer in advance. Talk with your agent to determine your insurance needs. You must have fire insurance. You may also want a homeowners policy. Most lenders require title insurance as well. Your lender will require the name and address of your insurance agent. Be sure to have this information well in advance of the escrow close.
Walk-throughs — Make sure you have completed all walk-through inspections and other contingencies such as termite inspection and any required city permits. Many things can delay the close. Be informed and prepared.
Documents — To expedite the escrow closing, bring the following items with you to your appointment: Sellers — If your home is a condominium, make sure you have a copy of the homeowners' association information
Many people are involved in most real estate transactions. It takes cooperation and communication between all of these entities to ensure a smooth escrow close. A positive outlook and a quick response to anything asked of you will encourage this cooperation. Many things can hold up an escrow — make sure you're not one of them!