Friday, January 22, 2010

Closing Escrow - The Home is Yours!

The final step of the CA buying process is called closing. Closing is actually short for "closing escrow"and is the time that the escrow company will make sure all the paperwork has been signed, all the money has been collected, and we are ready to transfer ownership of the property.

Assuming your loan has been funded, all parties will be notified we move to recording of the deed and mortage paperwork. If this happens early in the day, some counties will let you record same day. Usually though, the deed and mortgage documents will be recorded next business day.

Escrow is officially closed when escrow recieves confirmation that the deed has recorded and the seller has recieved all proceeds from sale. At this point, the house is yours!

Depending on how your purchase agreement is structured, it is possible to move in on the day escrow is closed, however, it is more common to move in 2-3 days after. The reason is to give the seller time to completely remove everything from the residence. This can be frustrating to some buyers who are anxious to move into their new home. They just need to understand that the many sellers have moved out of a house prior to closing only to have the buyer cancel the contract. This can cause way more problems than having the buyer wait an extra day or three to move in.

Either way, if one is extremely worried about a seller who might not move out, they can always ask for the sale proceeds to be witheld in escrow until the seller has vacated the residence.

Once you get the go ahead that the property is ready for you, it is time to move into your new home, Congratulations!

Buyer's Final Walk Through

One of the last steps in buying a home in CA is what is known as the final walk through. This happens several days before you receive the keys to the property and it is intended to give you a chance to make sure the home is in the same condition as when you last saw it.

This is not a “discovery process” where we will investigate the house for problems, but instead will a time to confirm that the property is in the same condition as before
. Major things we look for during a final walkthrough are missing light fixtures, damaged walls or doors, and missing appliances that were supposed to come with the house etc.

If damages are found during the final walk through, your real estate agent will take note, and contact escrow and tell them to stop until the problem has been remedied. The final walk through is not a point of renegotiation, it is really too late in the process for that. We just want to make sure you are not rushed into the purchase of a home where the seller has not performed their contractual obligations.

The final walk through is not mandatory, but for your safety, we recommend it. At the completion, you will be asked to sign a form stating that the entire property is in relatively the same condition as it was before.