When buying a home, there are several important steps to the process. The final, and most legally complex steps, are the escrow period and its culmination, the closing. As the home buyer, you will be busy with various tasks during this time, depending in particular on what contingencies you placed into the contract. Here’s some information to help.
The days and weeks in between the contract signing and the closing (which date is usually specified in the contract) is referred to as the “escrow period.” It usually lasts between 30 and 60 days (or less if you pay all cash for the property).
The Right Agent
The typical real estate sale contract names an “escrow agent,” “title agent,” or “escrow company,” which is simply a third party that will help to safely bring about the exchange of money for title to the property. Escrow instructions tell the agent how to hold and care for the relevant items. When handling a home sale, an escrow agent usually does some or all of the following to bring about a successful exchange:
- hold the buyer’s earnest money check until the closing
- order a title search (to make sure that the seller has clear title to the property)
- hold the money that the bank has loaned the buyer
- obtain and hold a deed from the seller transferring the property to the buyer, and arrange for the deed to be recorded in the appropriate county office or agency at closing, and
- calculate the amounts owed by both the buyer and seller for things like property taxes and homeowners’ association transfer fees and track the actual payments.
Closing a real estate sale is closely related and connected to closing the escrow: it’s when the deal is completed and both parties get what they bargained for—money for the seller and a home for the buyer. In most cases, the buyer takes possession at closing, but the parties can also negotiate alternatives, such as the seller remaining in the home for a period of time, until he or she can close on another home purchase or complete the construction of a new home.
eXp Realty—The Results Team—is ready to help you buy or sell your home! Stop on by our location at 2623 N. Walnut St, Bloomington, IN 47404. Or call us at: (812)822-2746.