What does the term "Life of a Sale Escrow" mean in the real estate industry? The term "Life of a Sale Escrow" is a term referring to a process in the sale of real property which locally is commonly referred to as "Escrow" or "at Escrow". The below infographic details the 7 steps commonly handled by the escrow company, or closing agent, in the transfer of real property.

What is the Life of a Sale Escrow Infographic

Life of a Sale Escrow is a pretty vague term to new home buyers as homeowners who either have never sold a home or it has been sometime since last selling. Here in Washington we typically refer to a Sale Escrow as just Escrow or the Closing Agent/Company.

Why is that? Don't know yet t makes sense because the escrow company designated on the Purchase & Sale Agreement is a 3rd party company and the company that will be closing the purchase or sale of the home or property. Continue reading to see the 7 Steps of the Escrow Process.

1. The Beginning

  • Receive Purchase & Sale Agreement.
  • Assign a Closing Agent and a Escrow Number.
  • Contact Listing Agent & Buyer's Agent.
  • Collect Earnest Money from Buyer.
  • Order a Title Report if Not Previously Ordered.
  • Send Welcome Packet to Buyer & Seller.

2. Search & Review

  • Review Purchase & Sale Agreement.
  • Review Preliminary Title Report.
  • Contact Parties for Needed Information.

3. Gather Information

  • Obtain Seller Payoffs on Loans & Liens.
  • Obtain Title Clearing Documents.
  • Receive Loan Documents from Lender.
  • Receive any HOA Required Information.
  • Prepare Settlement Statement & Documents.

4. The Signing

  • Schedule Seller's Signing Appointment.
  • Schedule Buyer's Signing Appointment.
  • Buyer & Seller Never Sign Together.
  • Signings can be in Person or a Mobile Notary (In or Out of State).

5. The Closing

  • Return Loan Documents to Buyer's Lender.
  • Escrow Company & Buyer's Lender "Balance".
  • Recording Documents Sent to the Title Company.
  • Lender Authorizes Recording & Wires Loan Funds.
  • Title Company Sends Documents to the County for Recording.
  • County Records Closing Documents & Releases Recording Numbers.

6. Disbursement

  • All Encumbrances and Bills are Paid.
  • Proceeds are Wired / Delivered to the Seller.
  • Commission Checks are Delivered to Real Estate Firms.
  • Mortgage Broker Checks are Delivered to Lending Firm.

7. The Finish

  • Final Settlement Statement Delivered to All Parties.
  • Record Reconveyances and Releases.
  • Real Estate Broker Delivers Keys to Buyer.