There are many factors that can delay the closing of escrow. Below are some common delays that can hold up a closing and can be avoided if they are recognized in the early stages of the transaction.
STATEMENT OF IDENTITY
When a client, buyer or seller, has a common name a Statement of Identity may be required. It is important to have the completed form returned to Escrow within 7 days of opening the order; the title unit requires this in order to verify if there are any undisclosed liens or judgements against the parties.
BUYERS OPENING NEW CREDIT
If a new account has been opened by the buyer, the Lender will have to document the debt and count the payment against your client. The new credit card or new loan could affect their FICO score as well as debt-to-income ratio, which could affect their ability to obtain the home loan. Encourage your clients to hold off on any large purchases until the escrow is closed.
If the buyer or seller is leaving town it can cause significant delays in closing without the right coordination. Have your clients work with escrow to determine if a Power of Attorney is an option. Any Power of Attorney must be reviewed and approved for use by the insuring title company and if the buyer is obtaining financing the lender must also approve the document in advance as well.
COMMON WAYS OF HOLDING TITLE
The title company can provide your clients with information on the different ways of holding title. If your buyers are unsure on how they wish to take title you should encourage your clients to consult legal counsel on the different vesting options and decide on the one that fits best for their situation. Remember that if the clients change the way they wish to hold title from how the original Purchase and Sale Agreement was written an addendum to reflect the amended vesting will be necessary. Should they choose to take title in the name of an entity such as a Trust, LLC or Corporation, supporting documentation to show signing authority will be required by the title unit for review.
Most Lenders do verify the borrower’s employment before funding. Please ensure all information your clients have provided to their Loan Officer is correct, including the phone number and the name of the Human Resources representative of their employer.
HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION (HOA) QUESTIONNAIRE
This questionnaire is required for all Condominiums and Planned Unit Developments. The escrow office will have to request this questionnaire from the Association or Management Company, which in most cases, requires an upfront fee to process the request. It can take two weeks or more to receive the questionnaire, so prepare your sellers to provide the contact information and upfront fee early to avoid possible delays.
PURCHASE CONTRACT CHANGES
If changes are made during the course of the escrow, please be sure to provide all contract changes to both your Loan Officer and Escrow Officer as soon as they happen. For instance, credits or price changes, unknown and unexpected changes can delay closing.
BUYER’S CERTIFIED FUNDS
At Chicago Title, the Escrow Officer can only authorize recording of the closing documents when all funds on deposit have been collected or cleared. The only acceptable funds to close escrows are the following types of deposits:
• Wire Transfer – this form of deposit is by far the most efficient for all parties involved in the transaction.
o Wires can be received as late as the morning of closing, it is however, best to have all funds on deposit the day prior to closing to prevent any potential delays.
• Cashier’s Check – Payment may be made in the form of a Cashier’s Check, payable to Chicago Title Company.
o Cashier’s checks must be on deposit for 24 hours prior to closing.
The Escrow Officer cannot authorize recording of the documents until all funds have been received. If funds are not received in either of these formats, your closing could be delayed at least one day and as many as ten days while escrow confirms that the funds are cleared.
AT SIGNING (DATE OF CONSUMMATION)
Your clients should expect to sign one or two business days before the closing date. If funds are required to close, be prepared to have your clients wire transfer or bring a cashier’s check 24 hours before recording. When your clients come to sign, make sure they have a valid photo ID available. Acceptable ID includes:
• Current driver’s license
• Current passport
• State-issued ID
There are many factors that can affect the timely closing of your real estate transaction. When in doubt, always contact your Chicago Title team with any questions. We are here to ensure your transaction closes smoothly!
At your service,
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