Home Buying 101: #3 Opening Escrow

What happens after I’ve made an offer to buy a house?
Congratulations on falling in love and making an offer! This is what to expect for the next 30 days until your escrow closes.

Los Angeles home in escrow. Courtesy AP/Reed Saxon

  • Offer accepted by seller
  • Escrow is opened with buyer’s good faith deposit (usually 3% of the cost)
  • You or your awesome agent will notify your lender that you have an acceptance
  • “Contingency period” starts–17 days to do all property inspections
  • Your bank will order the property appraisal to determine the value
  • You’ll sign lots of real estate paperwork, including a TDS (Transfer Disclosures) where the seller reveals everything known about the property
  • You’ll start getting lots of paperwork to sign from your escrow & title companies
Escrow humor
  • After your inspections, but before your contingency period expires, determine if you need to request repairs or credits for repairs from the seller
  • Seller will either accept, counter or reject your request
  • Assuming an agreement, you’ll get your loan documents in about 2 more weeks
  • Sign your loan docs usually at the bank, at escrow or with a notary in your home
  • Bring in your closing funds to escrow (remaining down payment + closing costs)
  • Your loan will fund a few days later, record and you’ll get keys to your house
  • Hire a moving company, turn on all utilities, forward all your mail

Still confused or have other questions about escrow? Click here.

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