When it comes to real estate lingo, the term “closing” is referred to the point in which the buyer gets the title of property transferred to their name. But there is more to this real estate process than simply closing. Following is a general break-down of the escrow process in Lake Tahoe below in a few easy steps.
- Once an escrow has been opened, the escrow officer will assign an escrow number. Additionally, if an earnest money (this shows good faith to the seller from the buyer) amount was negotiated, this check will be deposited into the escrow account where the funds are held until closing.
- The escrow officer will request a preliminary title report on the property. A title professional will search the public records to see if there are any issues or red flags pertaining to this particular property. This allows for action to be taken prior to the transfer of title to the new owner if there are any flaws.
- The escrow officer will prepare the HUD-1 settlement which outlines all the costs associated with the closing for both the buyer and the seller. This HUD will also be sent to the participating Realtors to cross-reference the numbers for accuracy.
- About 2-3 days before closing, a number of docs will need to be signed by both the buyers and sellers after being carefully explained to both parties by the escrow officer.
- The work does not end after the docs have been signed. Once the finances for the property have been received, the escrow officer will then forward any payment to prior lenders, any service providers who were involved in the transaction, as well as net funds to the seller. The escrow officer will also need to do one final search of title before recording all the documents legally needed to complete the purchase.
- The final step is closing day. This is the day the property is officially transferred from seller to buyer and the keys are exchanged.
- Don’t forget to have the utilities transferred. In Lake Tahoe, the escrow officer will take care of the transfer of the water/sewer and garbage as these utilities are a line on the property and will be prorated at the close of escrow.
It is always advised that one contacts their escrow officer for questions specific to your transaction. However, if you have any questions about the real estate market or buying or selling a home, please contact us.