Escrow Road Map
THE CLOCK STARTS
The Effective Date is the date that the last party, buyer or seller, signs the Sales Contract. That is the date all the timed contingencies rotate from. The following day is Day One. The buyer’s Earnest Deposit is required to be deposited into the bank within 5 days from the Effective Date in Kansas and within 10 days from the Effective Date in Missouri. Contracts can either be handwritten and signed or electronically signed through DotLoop. My Transaction Manager prepares the final documents and makes sure all the parties receive a complete copy – Seller, Buyer, Cooperating agent, Lender, and Title Company. My team creates a calendar so all the players can stay on task during the transaction escrow period.
It is customary for the Buyer to pay for their inspections. The basic contract defaults to requiring all inspections be completed within 10 calendar days from the Effective Date. Most Buyers will do Level 1 inspections – Whole House inspection and wood destroying insect (termite) inspection. Level 2 inspections are radon, sewer, chimney, roof, HVAC, structural engineer, and mold inspections.
Once the Buyer has completed all of their inspections, we move to the resolution period of 5 days. The Buyer may accept the property in its present condition, request repairs/concessions, or cancel the contract. The 5 day period is used for second opinions or obtaining repair bids. Once the Resolution is complete the Lender appraisal is ordered.
The Buyer’s Lender will require an official appraisal of the property from a licensed appraiser. This valuation helps assure the lender that they would own a marketable property if the buyer should default on their mortgage. The current regulations allow the Lenders to randomly assign the Appraiser. The Seller’s agent is the point of contact for access to the Appraiser. There are 3 criteria that the Appraiser must meet:
- 3-6 comparable sold properties
- Comparables should be closed recently
- Comparables should be close to the subject property
If the appraised value is different from the Sale price, there are contract systems to handle the discrepancy.
Mr., Ms., Mr. and Mrs., Mr. and Mr., Mrs. and Mrs., Trust, LLC, Corporation, Assigns. “Title” is the right to own, possess, use, control, and dispose of the property. The Title Company will conduct a title examination, which is to discover any problems that might prevent the Buyer from getting a clear title to the home. They will issue a title policy that will protect the Buyer against any title defects that were not discovered in the course of the title examination. If such a defect is discovered later, the title insurance would cover and correct the defect.
UNCLE SAM’S $$
TAXES! They have to be paid. The Buyer’s tax situation must be current to obtain the loan. The seller must be current on their tax situation to be able to sell. The property taxes are prorated to the day of closing and are prorated on the most current County assessment. The Seller will pay their portion up to the Closing date and the Buyer will pay taxes from that day forward.
It is customary for the Buyer to do a Walk Through of the property prior to closing. If repairs were done, they can be checked at this time and it is a fun time to get excited about the home at Closing. The Seller will sign the Closing documents several days before the Lender closing or Contract date closing. The Buyer will sign the documents for the Lender on the Contract closing date. The Seller will inform the utility companies several days before the Closing date, that they are discontinuing their service. The Buyer will then call the utility companies to transfer the utilities into their name. If you are a new customer, there may be a deposit required. If you already have an account, it is an easy transfer. You can do all the transferring either online or by phone. The information needed is under our resource page.
The Sellers will usually leave the keys and the garage door openers in the kitchen. The agent will pass a key to the Buyer at the Contract possession time. Don’t forget to pass along the appropriate codes for any security systems or garage code keypads. It is always a good idea for the Buyer to change the locks once they have possession of the home.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH, THE MOVE IS OVER!!
Real Estate is a process. It turns your life upside down for a while, but there is great satisfaction when it is all over. The intensity that we have shared together during the process is over once you move. Now it is your time to relax, organize, and start unpacking boxes. I’ve moved 9 times in my own home-buying career. I understand the ups and downs from all sides – the Seller, the Buyer, and the Realtor’s point of view. I do know the relief when it’s over. It is a journey and I’m always grateful for each one I take.