Around here, we try to do as much of the mortgage process as we can before you find the perfect home. My goal is to qualify buyers completely, narrow down loan programs and finalize down payment strategy…all before they make an offer on a home. So once you’ve done all of your mortgage homework and found your house, what’s left to do? Let’s talk about the escrow process from accepted offer to closing.
When you’ve reached an agreement with the seller on your purchasing terms – you have an accepted offer. To officially open escrow, you are typically required to deposit your earnest money with the chosen title and escrow company within 48 hours. The amount of your earnest money deposit was part of the negotiations. Your lender (me) will need a copy of the cancelled check for this earnest money deposit. You can find that in your online banking, after the check has been cashed.
At this point you’ll receive a very excited email from me congratulating you on your accepted offer and letting you know which documents we need to update in order to get full loan approval. Typically it’s just your most recent paystubs and latest bank statements. You’ll also need to get a homeowner’s insurance quote for the new place. Your realtor will be working on scheduling inspections and I will be ordering an appraisal as well.
In the background, we are working on quite a bit of paperwork. We’ll be locking in your interest rate, updating your verification of employment, sending you official loan disclosures to e-sign and getting your file ready for an underwriter to stamp an official approval on.
When we have the appraisal and loan approval in, you’ll receive a Closing Disclosure to e-sign. This document is a key landmark in our transaction because once you’ve signed it, a 3 day wait period begins before you are allow to sign final loan documents – which happens in person, at the Title/Escrow Company.
During that wait period, we’ll clear any conditions from underwriting associated with your loan approval. You’ll also be working with your realtor to make sure all of the repairs that came up during inspections were addressed. One or ten reminders will come from your lender (still me) to not open any new debts, finance furniture and appliances or switch jobs until after we close.
You’ll sign those final loan documents, wire your remaining closing funds and then we will fund your loan. Voila, you’re a homeowner!