Buying and selling a house in an exciting time for anyone…but it also can be quite overwhelming. One of the first steps to buying and selling a house in California is to open an escrow account. Taking this step should be a sign that the process is going smoothly. Yet, escrow can also be one of the most confusing aspects of the buying and selling process. So, how do you simplify such a procedure? Here are some tips and hints for a smooth escrow in California.
Anticipate Any Surprises
When it comes to buying and selling a house, you need to be proactive. Sometimes the best policy is to put the fires out before they start. For buyers, be upfront. If you know your credit may be questionable, speak up. There’s nothing worse than going through the process and ultimately be denied. Save yourself and the sellers some time by being honest. The same goes for sellers. If you are aware of any issues with your property (including a lien), say something. Otherwise, you run the risk of complicating the process down the line unnecessarily.
Make Sure Your Escrow Provider is Licensed
Would you have an unlicensed person do construction on your house? Then, why would you let someone handle the escrow on the property if they weren’t licensed? Companies out there may pose as escrow providers. Make sure that the ones you choose are licensed by the California Department of Corporations. That way, you know the escrow provider is a neutral third-party without an underlying agenda.
Escrow goes much smoother when everyone else is being considerate of the others’ time. Whether it be filing paperwork by the deadline or making appointments, be on time. Time is a valuable commodity to us all. Everyone else you are working with will appreciate your efforts to be prompt. Plus, remaining punctual will ensure that the escrow account closes in a timely manner.
Names on a house won’t change hands without the proper documentation. This includes insurance. Your escrow officer needs to know that the next owner of the house is going to be insured. Buyers, choose an insurance company. As soon as you have secured one, contact the escrow provider.
Your escrow provider must know:
- Name of Agent
- Phone Number/Fax Number
- Premium Total
- Policy Number
In order to close escrow, you must have all of this information well in advance.
Communication is Key
Whether you are a buyer or seller, you need to work with the escrow officer. Periodically, a California escrow officer will contact you for information. We all lead busy lives, but don’t forget to respond to your officer. Putting off calls can cause us to go into “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” mode. When this happens, you may forget to return the calls. Doing such can delay the escrow process tremendously.