Close of Escrow Creates Cause for Coordination

There are the obvious things that need to be done in a real estate transaction that take coordination between the buyers and sellers when the sellers are still living in the house – like when the buyers and the home inspector can literally take over the house for three to four hours; when the appraiser can make arrangements to collect all the date necessary to generate his or her report; and when the buyers can perform their final walk-through.  There are a few more events that tend to occur toward the end of escrow that can take some coordination to avoid miscalculations, misunderstandings, and disruptions.  

Utilities – Who’s shutting what off when often takes coordination when it gets down to the last week or so of escrow.  The timing gets complicated when there are questions about the actual date of the close of escrow.  There have been times when the unexpected occurs and the close is delayed.  If the sellers have already set up their services to terminate and the close is extended, if the seller doesn’t contact all of the utility companies to extend their service, and the buyers’ delay in starting services in their name, there can be an actual termination of service that frequently takes longer to set up than a transfer of service and can cause some rather significant inconveniences.  Not having electricity or hot water can make it difficult to conduct one’s daily routines.

The actual closing date – This can require some nimble coordination regarding moving vans, access to the property, and other people’s schedules.  For example, if the close is delayed, many sellers will postpone their moving truck until the sale has actually concluded.  Since many contracts are written with the seller remaining in the house for one to three days after the close of escrow, the date that the buyers can move in slides even further past the original close date in the case of a delay, causing their moving truck to be postponed.  Most moving companies are booked weeks in advance, which makes these last minute delays often difficult to pull off.  Add in any impact caused by delaying the close from a Friday to a Monday, and now you often have issues regarding taking off work to make the move, when you had planned to have the weekend get it done.  Cooperation and coordination go a long way toward making this as easy as possible for all parties.

Handing over the keys – Once escrow has closed, there’s the need to coordinate getting the keys to the new owners.  If the sellers have stayed for a few days after the close of escrow to get themselves packed up and moved out, there is often some degree of unpredictability in the actual time they’ll be finished and completely out.  And usually the buyers are anxious to get the keys as soon as physically possible.  Most agents would love to be the ones handing their buyers the keys to their new home at a previously agreed to time, with lots of celebration and good wishes for a long and happy life in their new home.  When it often ends in a text message letting them know the sellers are gone and the key is under the mat they left behind.  

I'm Leslie Eskildsen, Realtor.


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Helping you make the right move in Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Dana Point, Corona Del Mar, and other Orange County communities.