5 Things to Make Your Real Estate Transaction (Escrow) Close Smoothly, and ON TIME!

Everyone wants their real estate transaction to go smoothly, but in order for that to happen both buyer and seller, and all agents involved must be proactive during the entire process. So, what can delay a closing? Here are the top 5, with a few additional points thrown in for good measure!

1. Unreleased Liens (Seller): Make sure and disclose any and all liens on your property so that something doesn’t pop up at closing and delay things.

2. Underwriting Docs incomplete (Buyer): Remember anything your lender asks for must be provided. Is it sometimes inconvenient? Yes. But keep your eye on the prize, the long view goal of closing in a timely manner on your new house.

3. Taking on Debt during Escrow (Buyer): Want that new Jeep? Or some new appliances? Well WAIT until after you close on the house. Any new debt you take on will show up on your credit report and very well could affect your debt/income ratio. In other words, don’t do it or you could mess up your loan!

4. Inspection and Repairs (Buyer and Seller): Everyone likes to think their home is perfect, but it is not, and a home inspection will reveal that. Once the inspection is done, there will need to be time for repairs and re-inspection. These things can take some time, so plan accordingly.

5. Unrealistic Closing Dates: 30 days is cutting it pretty close, better to put a 45-day closing from time of accepted offer. This will give ample time for the loan, inspection, appraisal, etc.

A few additional things to remember…

Appraisals: Turnaround times can vary from 3-14 days, stay in touch with your lender.

Earnest Money: Earnest money that a buyer puts down on a property should be contingent on:

  1. Appraisal
  2. Financing
  3. Inspection

Write this in under additional notes before offer is presented.

Title Insurance Cost: Seller 90% of the time pays for the title.

New construction? A NOC (Notice of Completion) must be submitted to escrow at least 10 days before closing.

Insurance: Get Homeowners Insurance at least 14 days prior to closing!

No HOA Statement of Account (Seller): Don’t forget to provide all your HOA (if applicable) information when listing your home, and in the sales contract (if necessary).

Thanks to seasoned professional, Sheila Ivey of Esquire Title & Escrow, Inc., Nashville for taking her valuable time to answer a few questions for me on the subject of the escrow process in real estate.

– Steve