The Escrow Process and the Sale of Your Home

Your home is under contract! Take some time to do a happy dance, and then roll up your sleeves … the hard work is just beginning. And I’m not talking about just packing boxes. Just before you list your home, and just after you sign the purchase agreement are the two busiest times throughout the sale process.

The First 5 Days:

The first important time line requires you to get the Seller Property Disclosure Statement filled out and sent to the buyer. This is a form that you filled out at the time of listing, disclosing every material fact that could impact a buyers decision to purchase, and is sometimes referred to as “that scorpion questionnaire”.  You will only need to review, up-date and sign if you’ve already submitted it with the listing paperwork.

C.L.U.E. Report: 

Now is a good time to mention the CLUE report, which is required to be delivered to the buyer within 5 days of a signed contract to purchase the property. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange and is a report of any claims made on your homeowners insurance over the past 5 years. This is another form of disclosure to the buyer about any damage that has occurred at the home that may affect their decision to buy. You will not be asked to provide this report until after the contract has been signed.  To order a free report, go to https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/homesellers_disclosure_report/landing.jsp .

You’re not done leaving home to let strangers wander through:

Within the first 10 days (unless some other time frame is agreed to in the contract) there will be several appointments made to get into your home. The home inspection will be scheduled, and at least part of that will be attended by the buyers and the buyers agent. The lender, if there is one, will schedule an appraisal. A separate termite inspection may be arranged, and there may be other more specific inspections scheduled (a/c, plumbing, roof, etc.) if the general inspection turns up something that the buyers feel warrants a closer look.

Communication with the title agency:

You’re not only busy bee at this time. The title agent is working to make sure that the transfer of the property can go off without a hitch. Sometimes hitches are uncovered and you will be asked to provide additional documentation or information.

Request for Repairs:

Once the inspections are completed, and within the agreed upon time frame, the buyers will submit a Buyers Inspection Notice and Seller Response, which is a request for repairs of items found during the inspection. You will have some decisions to make regarding the repairs you will agree to and those you won’t. That’s the “sellers response” part. You have 5 days after receiving the requests to respond. The buyers then have 5 days to elect to continue with the sale or disapprove of your response and get their earnest money returned. It can be a tense time, but typically works out  with a reasonable compromise.

Make repairs, pack, and plan for the final walk-through:

Your out of the inspection period. All of the potential derailments have cleared, and this train is on track! Use your time wisely to accomplish all of the repairs promised, get your home packed and solidify your plans for where you’re going. A few days prior to the close of escrow the buyers will be scheduling a final walk through to make sure all repairs are complete, and everything is in the same working condition as it was upon agreeing to purchase. The utilities cannot be turned off until the walk-through has been completed, so plan accordingly.

Signing:

About a week before the close of escrow, you will be contacted to arrange a signing appointment at the title agency, or at a place of your convenience . if the title agency is out of your area. The signing typically takes place 3 days prior to the close of escrow and you are officially “home free” at the time that the deed transfer records with the county recorders office. Be sure to leave your keys, garage door openers, and all other remotes  with the home before you leave it for the last time.

You’re home free!  🙂