The process begins when the escrow company receives the fully-executed purchase agreement. The escrow officer then prepares escrow instructions and, after they are reviewed and approved by the agents, sends them for signature to Buyer and Seller, along with respective opening packages that include information and tax forms. The escrow officer also opens an order with the title company designated on the purchase agreement.

As the escrow progresses, the escrow officer receives and then forwards on to the parties various reports such as the termite and natural hazard disclosure reports, reports of residential property records (if applicable), preliminary title report, home warranty plans, etc. Escrow will also receive and pay, at the close of escrow, invoices for work on the property such as termite, retrofitting and, sometimes, repair work. During this time, the Seller should make arrangements to sign the grant deed in front of a notary public--either at escrow or with a mobile notary. Using information provided by the Seller, the escrow officer will order payoff demands in order to pay off the Seller's loans at the close of escrow.

As these reports and invoices come in, the escrow officer works with the Buyer's mortgage broker and/or lender and makes sure they have all they need to process the Buyer's loan documents. When the lender sends the loan documents, the Buyer has a choice to come in to the escrow company to sign their documents, or can arrange to sign them with a mobile notary.

Once the loan documents are signed, the escrow officer prepares and returns them to the lender. The lender then asks for time to review the documents, and after review, funds the Buyer's loan. In most cases, funding takes place one day prior to closing. ALL documents must be signed and deposited into escrow in order to close.