Buying or selling a home is an exciting and exhilarating time. However there’s a stage in the process where things can become stressful. Before the home is officially purchased or sold, you’ll have to go through Escrow. This is the period where title deeds are changed and the new buyer officially becomes the home owner. It may sound like a quick process but in fact it can be a lengthy period, in some cases upward of a few months. If you’re looking to come out on the other end with all your screws still intact then you’ll definitely want to read on.
The tips outlined in this article have been provided by top real estate agents to help you get through the escrow process without losing your cool.
An Oldie, But a Goldie:
1. Get A Timetable or Schedule
When opening escrow, ask your agent to give you an overview of the expected timeline from beginning to end. Knowing what to expect, and when, as well as seeing milestones completed will go a long way in reducing anxiety. Ask to be notified when important milestones are met. A great agent will also be a great communicator – check out our free video series that teaches you how to find the perfect REALTOR®, for you!
2. Trust Your Real Estate Agent
Trusting your real estate agent to walk you through the entire process is key to smoothly closing escrow. Rely on them to do their job. But don’t be afraid to express your concerns. Lean on them during negotiations and inspections as they are the experts. Be sure to ask questions and seek their advice. Having a real estate agent you can openly communicate with is great, having said that, you should try not to second guess their guidance or recommendations as you close the deal.
3. Be Flexible
Retain as much flexibility as possible during the closing process and focus on the bigger picture, rather than the petty details. Since homes are very personal, it is easy to get sentimental and take things personal when they really are all business. Be open to asking for credits and repairs as needed (or giving them if you are the seller), but do not dig your heels in about minor fixer projects. In the bigger picture, a couple thousand dollars might not be a deal breaker.
4. Stay Organized
Chaos rarely inspires confidence. Stay on top of all paperwork and make sure you sign and return everything to your lender promptly to eliminate delays. The lender and escrow company want the sale to close in a timely fashion, too, so don’t slow them down by being disorganized. Ensure you have all the documentation they need to close the deal and that you can send it to them when the need arises.
5. Be Prepared For Surprises
No home is perfect, so be prepared for inspections that bring unexpected news. Being present when inspections are conducted may make you feel more at ease, but some inspectors/REALTORS® may have preference to when it is and isn’t appropriate (it would be more appropriate for a buyer than a seller to attend, since they are the one purchasing the home) . In addition having more information about your prospective home, will prepare you to negotiate for repairs before they surprise you in the future.
6. Keep An Open Mind
While you might have the closing date penciled in your calendar, things change. Instead of thinking of your closing date as set in stone, think of it as a flexible target. Don’t book movers until it’s been finalized, so you won’t be stressed when your belongings are all packed in a truck and the escrow date is set forward a day or two.
Don’t forget to breathe! And try not to stress over minor details and delays. At the end of the day you’re buying a house so take time to relax before the big move.