Everything Buyers Need to Know About Escrow

Congratulations! Your offer to buy a home just got accepted. Now that you're on the path to becoming a homeowner, you might be wondering, "What's next?" In this blog post, we'll take you through all the steps during the escrow process, discussing the various stages and helping you prepare for what to expect.

Step 1: Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)

The very first thing that needs to be done is the Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). This is the initial deposit you make in escrow after your contract is accepted by the seller. Typically, you have a 3-business day period to make this deposit. However, it's common to shorten this period to just 1 business day in some markets. Your escrow agent will provide you with wiring instructions for your EMD, usually through a secure email. Always confirm these instructions over the phone and ensure they match the bank's name. Wire fraud is a real concern, so take necessary precautions.

Step 2: Escrow - What to Expect

During the escrow period, you'll work on finalizing your loan approval, performing buyer diligence, and making preparations for moving into your new home. This is also the time when you might want to conduct inspections, even if your offer is non-contingent. Keep in mind that a non-contingent offer means you've already done your investigations, and if you find something during inspections, the seller may not be obligated to make repairs. Coordinate repairs, fumigation, and any updates with the seller's agent.

Step 3: Contingencies and How to Remove Them

In most cases, buyer contingencies are not common, but if you have them, you'll need to remove them within the specified time. This is done explicitly with a contingency removal form. If contingencies aren't satisfied, you'll need to discuss the next steps, like requesting an extension or canceling the agreement.

Step 4: The Closing Process

As you move through the escrow process, there are several key steps to be aware of:

  • Contract acceptance
  • Deposit wired to escrow
  • Sending the contract and preliminary title report to your lender
  • Appraisal ordered and scheduled by the lender
  • Buyer investigations
  • Appraisal completion
  • Satisfying loan conditions
  • Loan approval
  • Contingency removal if applicable
  • Closing disclosure sent to escrow (must be sent 3 days before buyers signing)
  • Loan docs sent to title company
  • Buyer signs
  • Buyer brings remaining down payment funds to escrow
  • Buyer conducts final walk-through of property
  • Lender funds the loan (one day before closing date)
  • Escrow closes
  • Completing Transaction Paperwork

After closing, you'll need to review and sign various documents associated with the transaction. Ensure all signatures are in order and all required information is in your files. If you have questions about any document, don't hesitate to reach out.

Lender and Appraisal

Your lender and appraisal play critical roles in the home buying process. The lender will require a ratified contract and a preliminary title report. It's essential to select a lender quickly and ensure they can meet the agreed-upon close of escrow date.


If you're purchasing a single-family home, you'll need homeowners insurance. Your lender will require the home to be insured from the closing date onwards. The insurance company may want to inspect the home and may inquire about flood zone status. If the home is in a flood zone, you might need a separate flood insurance policy. For condos or townhomes, HO-6 insurance is usually required for interior damage.

Everything Sellers Need to Know About Escrow
As a home seller, you have a lot of things to do between now and the close of escrow. In the purchase agreement, the buyer may have specified a 30-day closing period or even a shorter closing period. In this video, I will walk you through all of the steps of the escrow process, discuss the process, and prepare you for what to expect.
How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time
Are you in the market for a new home but unsure how to navigate the process of buying and selling at the same time? Many homeowners face this challenge, but it is doable with the right strategy and guidance.We'll cover everything you need to know to successfully buy and sell a home at the same time, from timing your transactions to evaluating your financing options. So, whether you're a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, keep reading to find out how to make your next move a success.
How to Stage a Home to Sell for Top Dollar
Selling a house that has been staged can result in a higher sale price and a faster sale. Home staging is a marketing technique that transforms your average, personalized home into a showpiece that appeals to the broadest group of buyers, allowing it to sell quickly and at the best price.
Webinar - Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy a Home
Learn what it takes to be a successful home buyer in our Silicon Valley housing market. I'm Vinicius Brasil, a Silicon Valley native and licensed real estate agent for 20 years. If you're thinking about purchasing a home, you should watch the recap of my online home-buying seminar. We cover everything you need to know before buying a home so that you can make an informed decision and avoid costly mistakes.
How to Hire a Real Estate Agent
You need to start interviewing agents now to discover the best one to sell your house when you're ready to sell next year. When choosing an agent to represent you in the sale of your house, there are many factors to take into account. In this video, we discuss some crucial questions to think about before choosing the best real estate agent to sell your house.
Top 9 Most Common Seller Mistakes
Selling a home is one of the biggest events that can happen in a person’s life. Whether you are downsizing, relocating, or selling your late mother’s home, it’s a monumental event. Considering the price of homes in Santa Clara and the active Santa Clara real estate market, you would think that selling a home in Santa Clara wouldn’t be so difficult. However, as a home seller, be aware that mistakes can be costly and result in the loss of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
Understanding Real Estate Commissions
In most real estate transactions, there are two agents involved, with one side representing the seller and the other the buyer. Each of these agents is paid a commission when the sale closes. In our current market, buyer agents are typically compensated at a 2.5% commission rate. This is set on the MLS when the property is first listed. It is important to understand how much the listing agent will offer as compensation to the buyer’s agent. Once you understand what portion of the commission is being offe
Everything Buyers Need to Know About Escrow
As a home buyer, there are lots of things that need to happen between now and the close of escrow. You may have specified a 30-day close in your purchase agreement or possibly an even shorter closing period. In this video, I am going to take you through all the steps during escrow, discuss the process and prepare you on what to expect.
Should I Fix Up My House or Sell It As-Is?
If you have been thinking of selling your home and dreading all the costly repairs that need to be done before you sell, you may be wondering if it makes sense to just sell your home “AS-IS”. This is one of the most frequent questions or concerns I get from sellers, and the answer depends on several variables. For those of you stuck in this predicament, let’s go over the questions you should be asking yourself to determine the best course of action for you.
Webinar - Everything You Need to Know Before Selling Your Home
Learn what it takes to be a successful home seller in our Silicon Valley housing market. I'm Vinicius Brasil, a Silicon Valley native and 20-year licensed real estate agent. If you're considering selling your home, there's a lot you should know first. View a recap of my online home-selling seminar. This one-hour webinar was created to help you understand all aspects of selling a home and avoid mistakes.
Emergency Gas Shut Off Wrench
Utilize the gas shut off valve in your home to safely turn off the gas supply during any emergency. As you are aware, safety around homes is always a concern. The gas meter is one of the most important details about a home. In most homes, gas appliances include the furnace or heater, the water heater, the cooktop, range, oven, clothes dryer, pool heaters, and fireplaces. Each of these devices will have its own gas valve that can be turned off, but the main gas shut-off for the entire house is located at the
Why Should I Buy a Home?
Let's face it: buying a home is a life-changing decision, for better or worse. Buying a home isn't always a good idea; it can be a financial disaster if not properly planned. Thinking about your home purchase will help ensure that you make the right decision. So let's explore. In this video, I'll answer the question, "Why should I buy a home?"
Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home in the Bay Area?
If you ask a realtor or real estate agent if it is a good time to buy a home in the bay area, the answer will almost always be YES. So let's change that to "is it a good time for ME to buy a home in the Bay Area?" So often in the Bay Area, buyers outnumber available homes for sale, resulting in competitive multiple-offer situations and rising home values. When prices are rising, buyers often become aggressive buyers, outbidding one another for fear of being priced out of the market if they do not buy a home


Expect regular updates throughout the escrow process. You'll be working closely with your lender to meet their requirements. Appraisal results, loan conditions, and the loan approval status will all be communicated to you. As the transaction close date approaches, we'll help coordinate important events like signing with the escrow company, the final walk-through, utility transfers, and the closing of escrow.

Escrow and Signing

When your loan documents arrive at the title company, you can schedule your buyer sign-off. In California, we sign our escrow paperwork prior to closing and authorize the escrow company to perform certain actions on our behalf. Expect to sign a few days before the actual closing date.

Some of the documents you'll sign at escrow will require a notary, especially the loan documents. Notarization must be done in person and by a notary within the US. If you plan to be outside the US during escrow, special arrangements need to be made.

The escrow officer will schedule your sign-off once everything is ready to be signed. This can be done at the escrow office or anywhere in the US via a remote notary, but be aware that using a remote notary incurs an additional cost.

During your sign-off, you'll review the closing statement with all the closing costs and sign your loan paperwork. Since you won't have much time to review all the documents during signing, it's best to request them in advance from the escrow officer for a smooth signing process.

Documents in the Sign-Off

  • Estimated Closing Statement with Closing Costs
  • Tax Paperwork
  • Escrow Authorization Paperwork
  • Lender’s Loan Documents
  • Some Disclosures

Your estimated closing statement will provide the amount you need to bring to escrow. This amount includes your down payment, closing costs, minus the money already in escrow from your Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). This amount should be at the escrow company one day prior to the close of escrow. Escrow will work with you on how to wire this money to their bank. Always verify wiring instructions with your escrow officer and avoid using unverified email instructions.

Funding the Loan

After you've signed the loan documents, the lender will send the file to the funder to prepare the loan to be funded. Escrow will collaborate closely with the lender to fund the loan. Typically, the loan is funded the day before the closing date, but in some cases, it can happen on the same day as closing. Once all the funds are in from the buyer and lender, the transfer documents will be recorded at the county recorder's office. This typically happens on the morning of the next business day, officially marking the Close of Escrow and making the property yours.

We usually receive confirmation of the deed recording around 12 noon.

These are critical steps in the home buying process, and we'll be there to guide you through each milestone. If any issues arise, we'll keep you informed and work towards resolving them. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns during this phase of the escrow process. Your satisfaction and understanding are our top priorities.

Complete Selling Solution

We handle it all, at no upfront cost to you.


A few days before closing, schedule the transfer of utilities into your name. This includes water, garbage, electricity, and gas. Also, consider your phone and internet providers and alarm companies.


A walk-through will help you verify the property's condition and ensure any requested repairs have been completed. This is your last chance to inspect the home before it becomes yours. Take note of warranties, keys, and other important details provided by the seller.

Post-Closing Activities

Your journey doesn't end at closing. Here are some post-closing tasks:

  • Seller rentback coordination
  • Learning about your new home and its maintenance
  • Coordinating fumigation or termite treatments
  • Repairs and updates

We're here to support you through this transition into homeownership.


The escrow process can be complex, but we're here to guide you every step of the way. Your primary responsibility as a buyer is to work closely with your lender. Keep in mind that no two escrows are the same, and issues or delays may arise, but we're here to help resolve them and ensure a smooth closing.

We hope this blog post has given you a clear understanding of what to expect during the home-buying escrow process. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out. Your new home journey is about to begin, and we're here to help you every step of the way.

Contact Me Today

VINICIUS BRASIL, Principal Realtor
Keller Williams Thrive
19900 Stevens Creek Blvd #100
Cupertino, CA 95014
Call Me: (408) 582-3272
Email Me
Schedule a meeting
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Post a Comment