Congratulations! Your offer was accepted, and you have opened escrow on your new home. So what’s next? How long should everything take? Is there a general escrow timeline to follow?
It usually takes between 30 to 60 days for an escrow to close. Sometimes the escrow timeline can be shorter or longer. You and the Sellers agree to an escrow timeline during the contract negotiation.
Here’s a general escrow timeline for home buyers. While every sale is different, this should give you a good idea of what to expect.
The first week of an escrow timeline is usually the busiest.
There are often four inspections during the first week of escrow:
Sellers normally provide a variety of disclosures to the Buyer. Most of these disclosures describe the property, and reveal any material defects or past issues.Here in California, most seller disclosures are due to the Buyers within the first 7 days of escrow.
If the property is located in a planned community with a Homeowner Association, the Escrow Officer will order Homeowner Association documentation, and then send directly to you, along with the Preliminary Title Report.
The second week of escrow is usually the “Decision-Making” week: the lender makes its final decision to approval your loan, and you review all the disclosures to make your final decision about buying the home.
Your lender’s underwriter may request additional documentation for final loan approval. Keep in touch with your loan officer, and continue to provide any information they request.
When the lender receives the Appraisal Report, the Seller will be notified if the appraisal has come in “at value.” In the event that the property appraisal value is lower than the purchase price, decisions need to be made. Sometimes, the Buyer will pay the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price. Sometimes, the Seller will lower the purchase price. It may be a combination of both solutions.
You will review the Seller Disclosures, including the HOA documentation. This will help you decide if you want to go through with the purchase of the home.
The home inspector will provide the you with a Home Inspection Report. You can submit a Request for Repairs to the Seller, which are repairs to be completed by the Seller before Close of Escrow. The Seller can accept or reject the requests. The Seller can also offer a credit to the Buyer in lieu of repairs.
The Request for Repairs can also include any termite repairs, if a termite inspection was ordered.
Buyers will sign Contingency Releases, to express your commitment to the Sellers to buy the home. This happens when all inspections are conducted, disclosures are reviewed, repairs are negotiated, and final loan approval is confirmed.
In California, the default contract language requires most contingencies to be released on Day 17. The final Loan Approval contingency release is due on Day 21. (These deadlines can be modified during the contract negotiation period.) The number of days includes weekends.
Once all contingencies are released, the Seller will schedule any agreed-upon repairs.
During the final week of the escrow timeline, all repairs are completed, and receipts are submitted to the Buyer for review. The Buyer also conducts a Final Walk-Through, to inspect the repairs and verify the house is still in the same condition as when the offer was made.
If you are taking out a mortgage, the Escrow Officer will contact you to schedule a loan document signing with a Notary Public. This often takes place at the escrow office, or you can have a mobile notary come to you.
Once the loan is funded, and the grant deed is recorded at the Assessor’s Office, you finally get keys to your new home!