Accepting an Offer

Congratulations on accepting an offer on your home—what an exciting day! Thank you for entrusting us as your guides throughout this process. Today, we’ll discuss what happens next in escrow.

Firstly, let’s clarify what escrow is, as it can be a bit confusing. Escrow involves a neutral third party, usually an escrow and title company, which holds the deed or ownership documents of your property. The buyer places their money, and sometimes the bank’s money, into escrow, leading to an exchange at closing.

During escrow, several key steps occur, varying based on the terms outlined in your contract. Here are some general steps to expect:

  1. Appraisals and Loans: The buyer will promptly order an appraisal if they are financing the purchase and complete their loan application. They will also schedule inspections, which are standard even if there are no explicit inspection contingencies. Inspections help buyers understand the property’s condition and are sometimes used for renegotiating terms.
  2. Homeowner’s Insurance: This is a crucial step, especially in challenging insurance climates like California, where risks such as fire, flood, and debris flow are prevalent. The buyer will need to secure appropriate insurance to proceed.
  3. Your Responsibilities: It’s important that your home remains presentable throughout escrow, just as it was during the marketing phase. Buyers will likely revisit your home for inspections and the final walkthrough before closing. Keeping the house in good condition ensures that their initial positive impression lasts, enhancing their excitement and commitment to the purchase.
  4. Appraisals by Lenders: If the buyer is using a mortgage, their lender will require an appraisal to ensure the property’s value matches the price being paid. Multiple appraisals might be ordered, depending on the lender’s policy. Like buyers, appraisers should see your home at its best to reflect its true value positively.

The process from inspections to final appraisal is critical and sets the stage for closing. At this point, you should prepare for the final steps such as packing, hiring movers, and managing utilities—but only finalize these plans once all contingencies are lifted and the closing is secure.

In our next video, we’ll delve into these final escrow details, including moving and other closing tasks. Keep an eye out for that, and reach out to your realtor if you have specific questions about your escrow timeline or processes.

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