Things to Know About the Escrow Process

When you buy a home, the last step you need to complete is the escrow process. The right agent will be able to help you with the process; however, you should still be aware of what will be taking place.

Firstly, you should know what an Escrow Agent does in order to ensure you’re choosing the right one for you. An Escrow company is a neutral third party that can help in the process of transferring titles over and assist with any escrow, financing or other paperwork needed. An Escrow Agent handles your important documents to ensure everything is kept safe and that all necessary steps are taken in a timely manner.

So how should you choose which Escrow Agent to work with? Oftentimes your broker will recommend someone they’ve worked with before, however, you should look into the recommended Escrow Officer and see if you’d like to follow through with them or choose someone else. The most important factors you should consider are the level of experience the individual has, the stability and financial strength of the Escrow Company behind them, and the price of the service. Fees will vary as well from person to person so ensure you ask for a full list of fees, including giving them your title and escrow costs to give them a clear view of your situation. If the price of the service offered seems low, double-check the hidden fees they may require.

The last thing to understand is what is a title company and why you need one. A title company essentially ensured that everything in the contracts is correct and the title is cleared. This step takes into account any property tax, fraud, liens, judgments, and anything else that is needed to ensure the title is cleared. Once the title company declares the title clear, it can issue you a title insurance, or an insurance policy, to protect you (the buyer) and the lender from potential claims and disputes over the property.

How Long Does the Escrow Process Take?

The escrow process can be one of the most time-consuming steps in buying a home. Generally, the escrow process will take 30-60 days, however, we should note that if the process takes longer than 30 days, there may have been an error made in the process. With that said, the timeline of the process may depend on the agreement made by yourself, the buyer, and the seller. The following are some of the steps/factors that may determine how long the escrow process will take.

  • Mortgage pre-approval
  • Time needed for each task
  • Documents prepared ahead of time
  • State requirements
  • Optional for Escrow: Underwriting process

If the escrow process takes longer than planned for, unless otherwise mandated in an agreement, there is no penalty, however, whichever party responsible for the delay must notify the other. Let’s look at some of the specific factors that may hold up any of the above processes listed above.


Any inspections should be scheduled ahead of time and if not done in a timely manner, may add times to the escrow process.

Documents Required

Having all required documents completed correctly, on time, and having them on hand is one of the largest factors that will dictate if your escrow process will be pushed back. Organization is key!

Escrow Agent

Choosing the right escrow agent is crucial. If your escrow agent is disorganized or inexperienced, the process may be longer than expected for inefficiency.

That’s why at Cal Pacific Escrow we have the best agents in the business. We know how important it is for you to finish escrow as quickly as possible.

What is a Title Insurance?

A title insurance is a type of insurance that protects homeowners and lenders against any damage or loss that may occur due to judgments, liens, or other issues in the title to the property. It helps protect in event of claims regarding legal ownership of a property, so if anything arises after the purchase of a property, the Title Insurance will cover any fees. This insurance is different than other types of property insurances you could get such as fire insurance.

Title Insurance Coverage

There are a variety of issues that could arise that would mean result in costs and fees that the Title Insurance would be able to cover. Some of these issues include

  • Filing errors
  • Liens
  • Inconsistent wills
  • Title forgeries
  • Back taxes

When it Opens

A Title Insurance is purchased at the same time as the escrow is opened. If a lender is involved, the Title Insurance should be required to protect against possible defects, however in cases when there is no loan, it can still be beneficial for all parties involved to purchase a Title Insurance. Your Escrow Agent or lender will be able to open the title order and the title search will begin with the Title Officer.

Types of Title Insurances

There are two types of Title Insurances you can get, either a lender’s Title Insurance or buyer’s Title Insurance. Both cover the same items however they cover different parties. Depending on your Title Insurance policy and provider, the cost can range from $500 to $3,500. In addition, if you are buying a home in cash, meaning you don’t require a Title Insurance, you can ask for a warranty of title which will prove you are the sole party who owns and can sell the home.