STREAMLINING THE ESCROW/TITLE
following is mostly for Real Estate Licensees but will be of interest to buyers
Too often, escrows are complicated or even delayed because a few details are
either excluded or the original information provided is inaccurate. The
processing of an escrow can be more efficient and the closing expedited via
attention to the following details.
BASIC SELLER INFORMATION: Make sure to have the seller's name,
present address and phone number. Confirm the spelling. The seller's forwarding
address, if available, could be important at Close of Escrow (COE).
BASIC BUYER INFORMATION: Confirm the buyer's full name(s), including
middle initials and/or names. The names should correspond to the name(s) under
which the buyer's wish to take title. Acquire the
buyer's current address (including zip code) and phone number (including area
BASIC PROPERTY INFORMATION: Be as complete as possible regarding the
new property's address, including whether the address is a street, avenue,
lane, road, etc. Don't forget the zip code.
HOW TAKING TITLE: The escrow and
the loan process will be expedited with the following information:
- how is title to be vested . . . As joint tenants, community property, tenants
in common or Community Property with Right of Survivorship?
- if a married person intends to take title as his/her
"sole and separate" property, a quitclaim deed will be required from
the non purchasing spouse. If a married person is in the process of an
un-finalized divorce, a quitclaim deed will also be required.
SINGLE OR UNMARRIED: A person who has never been married is
"single". A person who is divorced is "unmarried".
LEGAL DESCRIPTION & CURRENT SELLER VESTING: When acquiring a
listing, it is usually wise to obtain a copy of the seller's original grant
deed and/or a copy of the original policy of title insurance. When opening
escrow, the legal description and the current seller's vesting will expedite
the drafting of escrow documents.
HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION INFORMATION: If a homeowners' association is
involved, the amount of monthly dues and the name and address of the HOA
contact will be very helpful.
Obviously, there are many other details required by the escrow officer. Some
of these details may need to be conveyed from the buyer's lender. Hopefully the
lender will already have pre-approved the buyer and will be able to provide
information related to the buyer's financing. But, first, the lender will need
to know the information identified above plus the following:
- the purchase price
- is secondary financing involved; what are it's terms?
- is the seller anticipating paying any of the buyer's costs?
- Length of the escrow
- Is there personal property included in the sale price?
The lender can then convey the financial information to the escrow officer.
In addition, the following information will be required by both the escrow and
- pest control information . . . any limitations of repairs and/or costs?
- insurance . . . does the borrower know from whom
they will acquire their homeowner's insurance?
- contingencies . . . are there contingencies that
will affect the potential closing of the escrow? What are they, when are they
likely to be eliminated?
- Is there a well and/or septic system that will require inspections?
Be sure to share any information that might affect the transaction with both
the escrow officer and the lender. Successfully closing an escrow requires
communication and teamwork between the buyer, seller, real estate agent, the
escrow officer and the lender.
Web Page/Escrow Process