If You Are Going to Go-Go on Vacation – When You’re in Escrow

Vacation is all you ever wanted …Vacation sometimes happens when your home is in escrow.

Water-Skiiers-Missouri-Flickr

Warn everyone of upcoming “out-of-town” trips – that way your closing can be a smooth glide to closing ~ Flickr Source: Missouri State Archives

Vacations don’t always happen at the best time … same with job trips and conferences. So if you’re selling your home or buying your next home and you have to leave town, it’s best to inform everyone involved in the buying and selling process.

Why do we want to know about you leaving town? Not because we’re getting our creeper on, it’s because we need to know if we need to have a notary prepared to meet you, or if there’s a title office near where you’ll be vacationing, or if we need to try and get you signed in advance of loan docs, if it’s an option for the seller.  Plus it might dictate what title company one chooses, to make it easier for you because it’s always ideal to sign at the title company. Also, to avoid fees and re-inspections.

Be pro-active and not reactive warning your real estate agent that you’ll be out of town or inaccessible through any part of the escrow period. 

Here’s a generic escrow timeline in Placer County

You’ll see why quickly – your presence or acknowledgement will be needed for many things and it’s important to be prepared if you’re going to be unavailable or accessible at any point in the escrow process. 

•  You go into escrow and are “in contract.” Disclosures are provided by seller and title company, for buyer review and participating agents (first few days). ~ Seller: did you do your seller disclosures before you left? Do your disclosures before you go into escrow. It will save you a lot of stress as they’re often a lot of work to go through. Buyers: you should have already all items to your lender, and verify you do … they’ll need quite a bit of stuff from you, that you’ll wonder if they have rights to your body parts with all the hoop jumping, but it’s worth it. 

•  Appraisal is ordered once lender has the contract. The appraiser will eventually access the property (inside and outside). Buyer: did you get the lender all the items they needed and give the lender the go-ahead to order appraisal? You don’t want to delay on getting this done and hold up closing. Seller: Before you left, did you remember the smoke detectors and water heater strapping before the appraiser came so they don’t have to come back out for a re-inspection? 

•  Buyer investigation of property. Buyer can set as many inspections as they deem necessary. It’s a pain, it always is … This also means all parts of your home need to be accessible (including attic, crawl spaces, and perimeter of the garage). Sellers: do this before you leave … you don’t want the morning of panic clean. Inaccessible parts of the home could cue a re-inspection and a possible delay. Buyers: If you want first-hand knowledge of inspections, be at the inspection at the end to review with the inspector. This is your biggest purchase – it’s nice to have that in-real-time and on-site feedback from the inspector of their investigation and findings.

•   Loan docs are approved and they’re sent to title. Title then calls buyer and seller to schedule their signings. Signings happen with seller and buyer separately at title or by notary (notary is usually an additional fee) Buyer / Seller: This is often when trouble starts for being out-of-town, buyer or seller is out of area, notary has to be addressed or they’re inaccessible. This can create delays, even if by one day or two. 

•  Loan docs go back to the lender for review and then funding (24-72 business days for review – ask your lender). Buyers conduct final walkthrough of property, but typically 1-3 days before closing. Buyers: will you be around?

•  Did you get all items out of your house (seller)? Let your listing agent know where or how the buyer can access your extra keys and remotes before closing and if applicable, what’s the mailbox number? Seller: easy ones to forget and are a pain if you’re out of area and say the closing date gets moved up. You want to closer earlier, but you’re out of area – what do you do? Always have a “plan b” ready to go. 

 Title has to confirm receipt of money wire of lender (and any money the buyer may have deposited) and it has to be received by early afternoon for them to release to the Placer County Recorder. It can be an early recording or a 3-430pm recording if the loan wire is received and confirmed by title by early afternoon (1pm). You’ll have a better sense of what time you’re recording, based on lender and when title confirms receipt. Buyers: hope for the best, prepare for the worst for an on-time close. Keep in contact with title and your agent for updates. Just because the lender states they funded, there is timing of confirmation of receipt and the County recorder involved. Sometimes the lender requests last minute things, so be on your toes and available. 

•  Placer County states when you’re on RECORD (officially closed). Welcome home!

ninja cat Takashi Hososhima 

Flickr: Property of Takashi Hososhima

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More Tips to Avoid Delays and Stress, If You’re Leaving the Area

If you’re a buyer, do as much as you can in advance for your lender, and respond quickly to lender requests for items that might come up from internal reviews – there will be a lot asked of you (including paper trails, money being transferred, or being gifted). You don’t want to be a ninja and unreachable when important items are needed. Be aware of all purchases until you’re closed.

Reminder, FHA / VA Loans always have an amendment that’s asked for, often last minute that is required “wet signatures” by both buyer, seller, and both agents.

Power of Attorney – POA

There are options if you’re unable to sign yourself, there is the option of Power of Attorney. These are items you want to address much in advance for closing and you still will want to pad an extra day, even with this item to allow for reviews with the lender. This will apply to folks out of the country, inaccessible within reason to notary, or simply for ease of process that can’t do “wet signatures / pen or ink”…

Notary Options

If you can’t sign at title, you can have a notary come to you at an additional fee. Not always the ideal, but great to know your options if you’re in a time crunch or caught out of town or simply have limited time available. You might want to consider an extra day if this is an option or items need to be overnighted back to title.

Interview and Hire the Right Real Estate Agent for the Job and Lender

Interview your real estate agent and lender – experience and great communication – they both matter if trouble arises or unforeseen circumstances. We can’t always control poor choices of others, but you can empower yourself with knowledge and demand excellence, ethical behavior, and professionalism out of who you hire. Be part of the positive equation and take responsibility during the interview process of your lender and real estate agent. Need some lender options – check out our list of loved lenders …

Good communication is a two-way street – and if you’re part of that equation with this type of information of your availability, your property closing will be much smoother sailing and you’ll Go-Go to an on-time closing 🙂


Property Questions or Showings?
916-308-2446 – Homes@RosevilleAndRocklin.com
REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom

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Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

See more informative posts at: 
www.RosevilleAndRocklin.com – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle

Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR

Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446
RosevilleAndRocklin@gmail.com – CBPlacerRealEstate@gmail.com
Coldwell Banker  – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01899313 + 01899313
2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661

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  • Ryan Lundquist

    What a relevant post full of options sellers really need to consider. POA is critical too. Nice job.

    • @ryanlundquist:disqus thanks so much for chiming in – this seems to happen more as we creep closer to the holidays and the POA will come in mighty handy if your spouse travels a lot and last minute. BTW, your solar post today was awesome. That’s a heated topic (pun intended). You do great work!

      • Ryan Lundquist

        Yep. Good tips @RosevilleAndRocklin:disqus. Thanks for the kudos on my solar post. It’s definitely been getting some good traffic today, which is great. There is so much confusion about solar out there.

        • Yes there is … I had a friend recently have a deal go south because of the money owed on the leased OlarCity-Say equipment.