Profile picture for djremund

What is the normal or average length of escrow for a home in the Sacramento CA region?

If you were to enter into a contract to sell a house, what would be a reasonable length of time for the escrow?    If you wanted to put a limit in the contract for the escrow, what would be a reasonable drop dead time to terminate the contract?
  • January 01 2009 - Sacramento
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for MacAdvisor
The average length of an escrow is not an opinion. It is a mathematically derived fact. Would one of you brokers please do the fricken math and stop giving "opinion." Take the last 1,000 closed escrows from the MLS, export them to a spread sheet, and perform an average. THAT is the average length of an escrow. If you want to do something even more useful, determine the mean length of escrow, that is the length of an escrow that has as many shorter as as many longer (something Excel or Numbers can do easily). Your personal experience as a broker -- that is what kind of houses you sell at what part of the market under what kind of conditions -- is greatly going to color your answer, while doing the math will not. The MLS can give us the actual answer if someone with access will just take the time and effort to answer the question. 

As to what is a reasonable length on escrow, under normal circumstances, assuming there aren't individual factors that provide special circumstances, a reasonable time for an escrow is either 30 or 60 days. There are, however, very, very few deals that meet that restrictive criteria. How long to go before canceling the contract depends greatly on the details of the sale. *IF* the house was on the market 30 days, received 40 offers all above market, I would drop the contract right after the first deadline. If the house was on the market for two years, this was the only offer, and the offer is anything close to asking, I'd hold on for a year hoping. If i am leaving for McMurdo Station for a five year stint in three months, I opt for a very short escrow with penalties. In real estate, details matter. Rarely is there a typical and even more rarely do things finish up without a snag or five along the way. 
  • March 21
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It all depends on the type of offer and motivation of all parties.  I would put the average at 30-45 days right now, although I've seen some escrows hit lending issues and take as long as 3 months to get completed (which the sellers are rarely happy with).

Like I said there are many factors and my target is always to close in 30 days.
  • August 28 2010
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No, it's not. However, if the home was under a lease option sale, for example, then it could take 2 years to finally transfer title. But a regular conventional / FHA / VA or seller-financed transaction closes within 30 to 60 days.
P.S. 3-day closings can happen if the title company is prepared as I have personally closed them. But they are not the norm.
  • January 06 2009
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Profile picture for djremund
Let me approach the question from a different perspective....

Is it reasonable to allow a buyer two years or more to close a deal after signing the sales agreement?  
  • January 06 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Personally, I have never seen a house close in 3 days on a sale. You can't hardly check for outstanding liens in the amount of time. Maybe it can be done, but I've never seen it. Obviously an all cash sale with no mortgage, no appraisal, no inspections, all liens accepted by buyer and with a manic escrow officer, maybe you'll close faster. Ask the company you want to work with if they'll do in in 72 hours. Even wiring the funds into escrow often takes one full 24 hour business day, so I would think they will say no. It's worth an ask though.
  • January 02 2009
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You can close escrow as fast as you can get a preliminary title report and funds into escrow -- somewhere in the vicinity of 72 hours to 7 days. The typical escrow period is 30 days but many bank-owned transactions require about 45 days to close, especially if the bank is located out of state.
Also, contrary to popular belief, contracts don't terminate by themselves due to the "time is of essence" clause and other verbiage. If you want to cancel a contract, it is typically suggested that you issue a request to perform to the non-performing party, including a 24-hour to 72-hour clause for performance, followed by a cancellation of contract form.

You might want to ask your agent to give you a copy of the standard purchase contract to read.
  • January 02 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I think that fastest you can get a house through escrow is about three weeks. Usually, escrow companies will not guarantee this time frame in any way and any small snag will blow this ultra short timeline. A more reasonable timeframe is about 30-45 days. Most houses can get through escrow in that amount of time without a problem. If you wanted to extend escrow beyond that fixed date, it only takes an addendum added to the contract signed by the buyer and seller. I would recommend calling a local escrow company and asking how long the files are taking to get through escrow right now. They generally will have a solid idea about a workable timeframe.
  • January 02 2009
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