Must-Have Escrow Checklist for Home Buyers

By Home Bay

Posted on December 30th, 2014

Closing escrow entails filling out and reviewing paperwork, scheduling appointments and staying on top of deadlines. With so many things at play, buyers usually find it extremely helpful to have a thorough checklist to help guide them through the process. Read on to see what you'll experience as you head into escrow and use this list as a resource to simplify the process!


Prior to Escrow:

  1. Get prequalified or preapproved with a lender
  2. Be prepared to provide a prequalification or preapproval letter to seller, if you haven't already
  3. Liquidate assets, if you don't already have at least a 20% down payment in your bank account
  4. Be prepared to provide to seller proof of funds, sufficient enough to close escrow (e.g., a bank statement showing you have enough cash to cover your down payment and closing costs)

Buyer's Escrow Checklist:

  1. Send the escrow company a copy of the fully executed offer to purchase real estate
  2. Obtain wire transfer instructions from the escrow company so that you can send your earnest money deposit
  3. Provide the escrow company with your earnest money deposit
  4. Send your lender a fully executed copy of the offer to purchase real estate
  5. Get a list from your lender of all documents they need from you
  6. Send your lender all documents they need for the underwriter to approve your loan
  7. Review escrow instructions provided by the escrow company
  8. Obtain documents from the escrow company, including the preliminary title report, termite certificate, natural hazard disclosure report, FIRPTA affidavit and HOA docs and HOA transfer fee, if applicable
  9. Review and sign the Sellers Disclosure packet
  10. Verify that your lender scheduled the appraisal so the appraisal contingency can be removed in a timely manner
  11. Schedule and complete a general home inspection
  12. Schedule and complete a termite inspection
  13. Schedule and complete any special inspections, such as roof, plumbing, chimney, electric, sewer or mold
  14. Deliver a Request for Repair to seller, if applicable
  15. Sign and deliver the Contingency Removal form, removing all contingencies and making your earnest money deposit subject to forfeiture
  16. Review the estimated closing costs worksheet provided by the escrow company
  17. Schedule a final walk-through with seller
  18. Obtain homeowners insurance
  19. Provide the escrow company with proof you have obtained home owner's insurance
  20. Wire your down payment to the escrow company
  21. Visit the escrow company to sign your loan docs and Transfer of Ownership docs with a notary, or arrange for the signing to occur elsewhere
  22. Confirm the escrow company has everything it needs for closing
  23. Confirm the closing recorded via the escrow company
  24. Obtain keys and take possession of your new home

We hope you find our escrow checklist for home buyers valuable as you work your way through your home purchase!

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Posted in Escrow