Step 7: Escrow Timeline


The Escrow Timeline 

Once you have an accepted offer on a home and you’re officially in contract or “In Escrow” now there’s a contractual timeline that we need to stick to. So what happens first? Well, however the contract is written will determine this timeline. Let me give you an example off what a typical escrow period will look like according to how we normally do it here in Sacramento Ca. Remember, every contract can vary, this is just a standard example. 


A common Escrow period is thirty days. That means from the day the seller accepts your offer, the clock starts ticking, so if all goes well, you’ll be a homeowner in thirty days. 

Earnest Money Deposit:

Typically within the first three business days of offer acceptance, you will need to get a small deposit over to the escrow company where they will hold it for you. This is called your Earnest Money deposit or your “good faith” deposit. This is your skin in the game, this secures your spot while you start your due diligence process. You can read more about the Earnest Money deposit Here. 


In the standard California RPA or Residential Purchase Agreement, your inspection timeline is usually seventeen days. This means the seller will give you access to the property to get your necessary inspections done. For example, you will need a proper home inspection, termite inspection, possibly sewer, etc..basically whatever you need to satisfy your investigations. 


Just like the inspection timeline, in the standard California Purchase Agreement, your appraisal timeline is typically seventeen days. That means the seller is giving you that timeframe to get an appraisal on the property. An appraisal is usually ordered to satisfy the lender. You can read more about that in my “What’s An Appraisal” blog post. 

Secured Financing: 

You usually have about twenty-one days to get the financing secured with your lender. At this point, your loan should be fully underwritten or at least almost there. They may require a few more odds and ends verified, but this is typically plenty of time to give you the thumbs up on the financing portion. 


Most of the work is done at this point. We’re less than 10 days from closing and it’s time to schedule the official signing appointment with the title company! Read ahead in my next blog entitled “Closing” to read the last step in the home buying process! 

Thanks for reading,

Sara Muir 

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