How does she do it?

I was asked by a good client some time ago, "what is it that my escrow officer does for me and my clients?" She said, "I open the escrow, you pick up a deposit check, we get a pre, my clients sign, and you bring me a commission check." Well, little did she know, there is a long list of things the escrow team in my branch does on the average resale transaction.

After you review this post, you may wish to deliver flowers or wine to your escrow officer at your next closing! In this post, let's visit what the escrow officers in my branch do for you and your clients!  This is not intended as a solicitation, but merely an educational piece for existing clients and curious readers.  The thing that most people do not realize is that all these things that take place below, are only regarding the sale of one home.  My escrow officers can close up to 30 or more transactions per month! Hence the title, "How does she do it?"

Here are the Escrow Procedures on a "Typical" Resale Transaction in my office:

The Escrow Officer…
Opens escrow and orders preliminary report from title department
Receipts in initial buyers deposit to escrow and sends copies of receipt for deposit to both agents
and new lender/loan agent
Sends agents or clients "So you're buying" and So you're selling" brochures
Reviews all title issues upon receipt of preliminary report
Arranges to have preliminary report sent to sellers and buyers agents and loan agent
Sends statements of identity to seller / buyer as needed
Orders payoff demands on all existing deeds of trust and liens as needed
Clears all title issues as needed – Examples Affidavit – Death of Joint Tenant Interspousal
Transfer Deed and Instructions from Spouse
Orders Confirming Sale Independent Administration Act
Releases of Internal Revenue Service Liens
Releases of State of California / Franchise Tax Board Liens
Releases of Abstracts of JudgmentReleases of Child Support / Alimony Support Judgments
through the District Attorneys Office or through Attorneys for Respondent / Defendant
Releases of Postponed Property Taxes
Releases of Delinquent Property Taxes
Receipts into escrow all inspections / billings affecting property – Examples
Termite Inspection / Termite CertificationRoof Inspection / Roof Certification / Structural
Physical Inspection / Pool Inspection
Arranges for home warranty billing / contract to be deposited to escrow
Assists loan broker / lender with obtaining all information needed from escrow holder prior to
drawing of loan documentation
Communicates with fire / hazard insurance agent and arranges to have insurance coverage and
billing deposited into escrow
Communicates with listing / selling agents with progress reports as needed
Arranges for pick up / federal express of loan documents
Verifies final terms with listing / selling agents
Draws sellers and buyers escrow instructions and closing documentation
Makes sure we have complied with all Cal-Firpta and Firpta requirements
Sets up appointments for signature of sellers and buyers escrow instructions with agents
Signs off sellers and buyers
Sends request for loan funds documentation to new lender(s)
Prepares recording voucher for County recorders office
Prepares request for Owners and Lenders policies of title insurance
Sends documents to record to County recorders office
Arranges for wiring / pickup of lenders and buyers funds
Advises both listing and selling agents that loan has funded and has been released for recording
Upon meeting all requirements and receipt of all funds, releases file to record with County recorder's office
Upon confirmation of recording disburses all funds in file to proper parties
Advises sellers and buyers agents we have closed their transaction
Prepares final HUD-1 closing statement
Delivers broker, buyers and sellers checks as per instructions
Sends via federal express all loan payoffs
Sends closing letters to all parties in connection with the escrow
Prepares 1099's for Internal Revenue Service
Completes internal documentation in file
Forwards policies of title insurance to proper parties
Calendars / monitors any and all "funds held" items
Upon release of all "funds held" and completion of all internal functions the escrow file will be
sent to storage for safe keeping

Did you have any idea that all these things were being done behind the scenes on your transactions?

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