How to Buy a Home in California, Part IX: Closing Escrow

How to Buy a Home in California, San Diego Real Estate, Home Buying Process

You've done everything right, and it's paid off for you. You did a thorough investigation into the home you want to purchase, approved it or renegotiated the terms of the deal, and you've removed all your contingencies and fully committed yourself to complete the purchase. It's time to close escrow and move into your new home! If you're not quite with us yet, browse the topics we've covered in this multi-part blog series on How to Purchase a Home in California with our handy Table of Contents


Deposit the Rest of Your Money With Escrow

Once you remove all of your contingencies, you can deposit the rest of the money for ​downpayment and closing costs into escrow. You don't want to deposit these funds until after you remove your contingencies and fully commit yourself on the contract, because even if you still have a valid reason to cancel, it's a pain to get your money out of escrow. Better save yourself the headache and only put in your earnest money deposit until you've fully investigated the home and want to commit yourself on the purchase. 

Prepare for Moving Day

Don't plan on moving the day after escrow closes. There are so many people involved with closing an escrow, and often the closing depends on people and events beyond the control of the buyer or seller. If you have a great agent, he or she will be working behind the scenes the entire time you're in escrow to make sure that everyone involved is diligently performing under the contract deadlines and you're going to close escrow on time. But since there are things that are outside of even your agent's control, the legal timeframe for closing escrow "on time" is 3 business days. ​

Make sure you also allow yourself some time to clean up your new home before you move in. The seller only has to deliver the home in "broom clean" condition. You probably want to get a deep clean done so you have a fresh start when you move in and begin designing your new life. 

Finalize Loan Documents

You just got final loan approval and your lender is going to draw up the loan documents. You'll sign these with a notary and a day or two after, your loan will fund, the bank wiring the funds to the title company, who pays off the seller's loan and prepares the deed transferring ownership to you. As soon as you get notice from the title company that the deed has been recorded in the public records, usually the day after the loan funds, you have officially closed escrow! You'll get keys by 6:00 p.m. the day the deed records. Time to pop the champagne!

HUD Statement Tells You Where Your Money Went

You’ll receive a "HUD-1" statement as part of your escrow closing documents. This is basically a ledger sheet, showing the amounts you paid through escrow and any credits you may have received from the seller. You will receive an estimated HUD Statement 5-7 days before closing escrow, which you should review with your agent and lender to make sure that all the numbers are accurate and no corrections need to be made.​


Congratulations!! If you had an amazing Realtor work miracles in your home purchase, tell your friends! We like to offer our clients a hosted housewarming party 4-6 weeks after they move in. It's a great incentive to get unpacked and a perfect way to meet the neighbors and show off your new home to all your friends and family.​ We offer a ton of other benefits to our buyer clients as well, including tailor-made educational resources, free MLS accounts, and more.  Click the link for more about how we serve our clients.

The End

That concludes our multi-part series on How to Buy a Home In California! Thanks for following and sharing, and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. ​

Lauren Empey, San Diego Realtor, Pacific Beach Real Estate Broker and Attorney

About the Author

Lauren Empey, real estate broker and attorney specializing in San Diego real estate sales and investments. I love sharing about this gorgeous San Diego life, real estate, finance, the law, and all things in between. Founder of Empey Realty. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Lisa Storing - August 18, 2015 Reply

I really enjoyed this blog! As a first time home buyer, I found your step by step explanation of the home buying process very helpful and informative. Thank you. 🙂

    Lauren Empey - August 28, 2015 Reply

    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for your comment, and I’m glad you found the blog helpful! Please let me know if I can help with anything else!


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