The following is a sample of a basic escrow timeline. This sample is purely for informational purposes. The timeline can change based on varying circumstances.

Escrow Timeline
  • Receive New File - Escrow agent receives signed Purchase and Sale Agreement from real estate agent. 
  • Open New File - Escrow opens a file and assigns it a number; if title policy has not yet been ordered, escrow orders it. 
  • Obtain Signed Escrow Instructions - Escrow sends initial Escrow Instructions to Buyer and Seller along with requests for information about the transaction (lender name and loan number, utilities addresses, social security numbers, etc.) 
  • Preliminary Title Report - Upon receipt of preliminary title, escrow mails it to the parties. Based on information in title report, escrow begins clearing all adverse title matters (judgments, liens, mortgages and other encumbrances must be cleared so that buyer receives clear title). 
  • Prepare Closing Documents - Escrow prepares documents for signing (Statutory Warranty Deed, IRS Reporting Requirements, Settlement Statement, Excise Tax Affidavit, etc.) 
  • Receive Loan Documents - Escrow receives loan documents from buyer's lender. (approximately 2-4 days before closing) 
  • Prepare Settlement Statement - Escrow prepares settlement statement reflecting buyer's loan charges based on Lender instructions, copies loan documents for buyer and prepares file for signing. 
  • Schedule Signing Appointments - Escrow contacts buyer and seller to set appointments for signing closing papers and to advise buyer the required amount of closing funds to bring. 
  • Signing - Buyer and seller sign closing documents and buyer deposits necessary closing funds. Buyer signs 2-3 days before closing; Seller may sign earlier provided all necessary information has been received. 
  • Loan Documents to Lender - After signing, escrow returns signed loan documents to lender for final review. Escrow sends deed,  deed of trust, and any other documents to be recorded to title company to hold until closing. 
  • Closing Day - Lender reviews loan documents and balances with escrow as to net loan amount; upon lender approval escrow instructs title company to record docs. 
  • Receipt of Lender Funds - Escrow receives lender funds via wire transfer. 
  • Recording - Escrow receives recording number from title company indicating that documents are recorded, meaning that closing has taken place. 
  • Disbursement of Funds - Upon recording, escrow disburses all funds, including paying all transactional costs, broker commissions, liens, mortgages, and any other encumbrances and then disburses sale proceeds to seller. All costs are then reflected on the Final Settlement Statement sent to the parties upon closing. 
  • Post-closing - Following closing of transaction, escrow has certain continuing duties, including obtaining a release of deed of trust or other security instrument for recording with the county and handling any required IRS reporting. 
  • File Maintenance - By law all closed files must be maintained for six years.
Aaron Shephard
Real Estate Specialist & Scottsdale Native
(480) 980-2893

Anna Shephard
Real Estate Specialist
(480) 980-4262

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