Purchasing a home can be one of the most important financial decisions a person will make in their lifetime. Before you get the keys, however, a series of steps must be satisfied as part of an escrow process. This escrow closing, which begins after the seller accepts your offer, can be confusing, stressful and intimidating, but with the right team to guide you, it can be navigated successfully.
There are many important players in the home buying process. Choosing the right agent, escrow officer and lender can greatly facilitate and smooth the way to a successful conclusion.
Steps of the Escrow Process:
- Go into escrow/under contract and open an escrow account
- Await the bank’s appraisal
- Secure Financing
- Approve the seller’s disclosures
- Obtain inspections
- Purchase hazard insurance
- Acquire the title report and title insurance
- Do the final walk-through
- Review the Closing Disclosure
- Sign the closing documents with the Notary Public*
- Close escrow
*The notary’s role in not an insignificant one in this process. An experienced notary can be instrumental in insuring that the closing documents are properly executed.
Choosing the right notary to assist with these important documents is essential. If the documents are not signed and initialed properly, there could be a delay in the funding process which could cause the borrower to lose their negotiated interest rate, potentially costing them thousands of dollars over the term of their loan.
For this reason, many title and escrow companies insist on the use of company approved notaries who have passed stringent background screenings and have achieved specialized training in real estate documents and the closing presentation of loan packages.
Helen Wardale, the owner of Totally Notary is an approved notary for Fidelity National, First American and Old Republic Title companies. She is a certified loan signing agent with the NNA, Notary2Pro, and 123 Notary and has completed over 2,000 loan signings. She is licensed, bonded and carries $1,000,000 in Error & Omissions insurance. She is e-doc capable and has a dual tray laser printer for loan package printing.
If your escrow officer has emailed you the documents with the instructions to “find a notary”, be careful! Loan packages are often formatted in a mixture of letter and legal. “Printing to fit” is unacceptable, and many county recorders have specific rules about the font size and margins of the documents they record. If it is printed improperly, it may be rejected. Don’t trust your sensitive information to Fedex or Kinko’s! Totally Notary can print your documents properly, confidentially, and when you sign, will insure they are executed flawlessly.
To ensure a successful conclusion to the complicated escrow process of purchasing a home, insist on a certified loan signing notary with the qualifications and experience to guarantee the closing documents will be executed properly, the first time.
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