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How long does escrow take?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Real Estate Law

The average real estate escrow in California takes 30 to 40 days, but it could go faster or slower, depending on your situation. Title defects are an issue out of your control that could delay escrow. For any issues that would cause serious delays, you may have to reschedule the closing.

Settling the offer

Escrow begins once the seller accepts an official offer. It may take days or weeks for you and the seller to agree on a price.

Deposit money into the escrow account

You need to deposit the agreed-upon earnest money into the escrow account on time. Sellers usually ask for 1–2% of the home’s price as the earnest money. In competitive markets, however, this percentage could be higher. It usually takes about one to three weeks to complete this phase. This is because your lender will want to hire an inspector. If the inspector discovers problems, that could make escrow take longer because they’ll want to address the issues.

Loan approval

The lender will send the buyer an approval if they approve the loan. It’s possible to receive a pre-approval for residential real estate transactions if you would like to speed up the process. During the approval process, it’s best to avoid making major financial changes like opening a credit account or changing jobs.

Final closing and walk-through

There is a final closing to finish the sale of the home. About five days after the final closing, you go through the final walk-through.

Title transfer

On the last day of escrow, the seller transfers the title to you. The buyer and seller may have to sign several documents during this process. Then, the title or escrow company update in their database the ownership of the home.

Be aware that the process could take longer if you encounter any issues along the way.