The Process

Escrow, Inspections, and Appraisal: During this stage of the property selling process, the buyer will learn a lot more about the property.

What is Escrow?  In a nutshell, escrow begins when you accept the terms and conditions of a buyer’s offer.  When the earnest money is deposited, escrow begins.  The time frame will last from then until the transaction is recorded in City or County’s records.

Title Company and Escrow Holder:  In the area, typically the seller gets to choose which Title and Escrow company they would like to use. The buyer and the seller typically split the escrow fees while the seller is responsible for title insurance.  This is important because it protects you if there is something unknown affecting the title of the property.

Contingencies:  The accepted purchase contract will specify the amount of time allowed for specific contingencies.  In California, there are three different contingencies: loan, appraisal, and a physical inspection contingency.  Each contingency allows the buyer a certain amount of days to do their due diligence in reference to the type of contingency.  For example, if the buyer’s physical inspection contingency was written into the contract to be 10 days, the buyer will have ten days from acceptance to have all home inspections done.  At the successful close of each of these contingencies, the buyer will remove the contingency and you will be one step closer to the close of escrow.  However, the buyer may decide to not go ahead of the deal during the contingency period or the buyer could request repairs be made to a certain aspect of the home.  Having an experienced listing agent will help you tremendously when negotiating any repairs.  These contingencies are to ensure that the buyer has all the known information about the home. Contingencies are often a tough topic to understand, so Lu is always happy to explain each one in more detail.

Inspections:  During the buyer’s physical inspection contingency, the buyer can bring whomever they would like to into the home to examine the mechanical systems, the electrical work, the foundation, etc.  This is the buyers’ time to do their due diligence, so they can make the most informed decision they can.  As the seller, you are entitled to any and all inspection reports.

Appraisal and Loan Approval:  Lu always requests a pre-approval letter from the buyer before she shows the seller the offer.  A pre-approval letter is stronger than a pre-qualification letter and helps identify the financial situation of the buyer regarding the purchase of your home.  After an offer is accepted, the buyer’s lender will send an appraiser out to the property to ensure the property is worth the sales price.

Time to Start Packing: Usually it is a good time to start packing and arranging a moving company early on in the escrow period.  Typically, moving involves a lot of unknown factors, so it is better to start early so you can be prepared for the unknown.