Profile picture for Doug Reynolds

How long does it take to close escrow???

First, let's quickly define "Escrow."  Escrow is a neutral third party that has the responsibility of seeing that the buyer and seller agreed upon terms and conditions are carried out.  Escrow is the vehicle by which the interest of all parties to the transaction are protected.  At the end of escrow, the seller receives their funds from the buyer/buyer's lender and the ownership of the house is recorded in the buyers name.

For four years in a row, the time it took to go from contract to close was 30 days for a normal transaction between 2005 and 2008 according to C.A.R.'s Annual Housing Market Survey. In the last two years, with the current tough underwriting standards for mortgage loans, escrow is taking a bit longer—about 40 days. But actually the length of time it takes to close escrow is the same as it was in 2003 (just prior to the mortgage frenzy of '04, '05, and ‘06). This shows the market returning to somewhat normal conditions as escrow companies are taking their time to review, document, and close the transaction.

For distressed sales, the length of time to close escrow is about 5 days longer than for non-distressed home sales. And because we know that not all distressed sales are created equal, the problems in closing are largely with short sales as it takes these transactions about 50 days to close escrow from the time the lender approves the sale, versus 35 days for REO/bank owned or foreclosure sales.

I tell my clients right now that even though we are shooting for a 30 day escrow is typically going to be 40 -45 days mostly because lenders are taking extra time with appraisals and document reviews.

clear skies,

Doug Reynolds

  • January 27 2011 - Sacramento
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for SeanGlaze
I am not sure what this is but it does not seem to be a question or a discussion?  Did someone ask you this?
  • January 27 2011
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On the average it takes 30-45 days, could be less or more depending how complicated the transaction is.
  • January 27 2011
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I closed an all cash deal in 5-days, a FHA in 21-days, another cash deal in 9-days, a conventional loan with a direct lender (after lender cleaned up the mess that the broker made and the broker was kicked) in 4-months (normal trust sale), a VA loan in 30-days, another cash deal in 19-days...

Another word, not one transaction is ever the same. They can vary from lender to lender, seller to seller, buyer to buyer. Even if you have the same exact loan officer doesn't mean you will have the same results.

Best scenario, have a great agent that knows how to get the bank to move. There were about a dozen B of A transactions in my previous office that were over 60 to 90-days in escrow. I knew this going in and forewarned my client that I may have to push and will need them to back me. I was the only one in the office that was able to close my deal in 30-days.

I push buttons that may tick some off, but as far as I am concerned, I don't care! I am not there to make friends, if they get in the fast lane, don't do 55 MPH! If the loan officer says 30-days and I see a threat to them not holding up their end of the deal, they will feel the pressure, constantly.  I will not loose the deposit for failure to perform and that includes from outside influences.

I guess you can say I take it personal, or is it just pure pride? :o)

  • January 27 2011
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Profile picture for Al McCaw
My cash buyers:  average of 2 weeks to close escrow.

My Fannie Mae Homepath buyers:  30 to 45 days.

My shortsale buyers:  90 days (soonest) to ?????

My REO buyers:  45 to 90 days.

My regular equity buyers:  30 to 45 days.
  • February 09 2011
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Profile picture for Jeff Grenz
Aside from my cash buyers (10-25 days typically) my quickest financed escrow happed just a few weeks ago thanks to a well prepared direct lender and a buyer who paid attention to recommendations.  

The buyer had been pre approved all year and had several unsuccessful short sale transactions.  They suddenly were in a hurry, so we were looking at REOs.  Two weeks prior to the offer, just before Thanksgiving, I had the buyer and the lender make sure their documentation was up to date, including pay stubs and account statements.

Once we had an accepted deal, December 23, the lender had documents to title on January 19, it closed the 26th.  Considering the 3 major holidays in that period, we were all very pleased.

Thats a lender I would do business with again.
  • February 09 2011
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