Real Estate Closings

Q:

We’re very confused about the closing of our sale. The escrow people are telling us that we must come in and sign days before the closing date. We expected to be on Vashon to sign on the closing date. I know you explained that, but I don’t remember what you said about it. Now we’ll have to take extra time off work and we hadn’t planned on that.

A:

 

I always try to be clear about the closing process because people are so excited or stressed throughout the transaction that it’s easy to forget what happens at closing. Plus, every state does it differently, so even if you bought property before, if it wasn’t in Washington, your may have different expectations.

Cash sales are the easiest since there’s no lender involved so there are no loan documents to sign and travel back and forth between escrow and the lender. When there is a home loan involved, it takes longer. It’s important to stay in touch with the escrow folks so that you’re ready when they call. I’m sorry you’ll miss work but it’s worth it to buy your home.

Once the lender has fully approved the loan through all their processes and underwriting, the final documents are created and those must be reviewed. Then they send those documents to the escrow officer who also reviews them to be sure everything is accurate. You’d be surprised how often there are mistakes. Once the escrow officer is satisfied that everything is in order, they call you in to sign. After you sign, the escrow officer again reviews everything to be sure you signed correctly and in the right places.

Then the escrow office sends the documents back to the lender for a final review. That can take a day or two. Once the lender is totally satisfied, they will allow the transaction to close and the funds to be transferred to the escrow company for distribution. Once the funds are all accounted for the escrow company “releases” the sale to the County who records it. That’s when it’s closed.

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