Home buying process part 8

Open Escrow/Order Title Commitment or Prelim

The escrow officer will prepare escrow instructions. The exact process here varies by locality — for instance, in southern California they are signed upon inception, while in northern California are signed at closing. The escrow officer will act a neutral third party to process your transaction by collecting or preparing documents, obtaining signatures, recording documents and disbursing funds.

  • Your agent or agent’s transaction coordinator will open escrow and title, if the listing agent hasn’t already done so.
  • Ask for the escrow officer’s name, phone, email, and escrow file number. Escrow officers are bound by confidentiality.
  • Give this information to your lender and your insurance agent. Get an early start on obtaining quotes for a homeowner’s insurance policy .

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