A closing or escrow is a deposit of funds, a deed or other instrument by one party for the delivery to another party upon completion of a specific conditions of event. It is an independent neutral account by which the interests of all parties to the transaction are protected.
Why do I need a Closing?
A closing or escrow will provide you with a guarantee that no funds or property will change hands until all of the terms and conditions have been followed. The settlement holder has the responsibility to watch over the funds and/or documents, then pay out the funds and/or transfer the title only when all requirements of the settlement/escrow have been completed.
How does the Closing process work?
The buyer/borrower, seller, and lender assemble in the title company office to sign or execute the loan documents for the buyer and other county specific documents. The seller signs a deed which transfers title to the new owner, a Bill of Sale to transfer any personal property sold with the house and other documents transferring HOA, taxes, water and sewer billing to the new owner. The Escrow Officer/Closer will then process the documents, and receive a wire from the lending institution. The deed is recorded in accordance with the escrow instructions. When all conditions required in the escrow instructions are met, monies are disbursed to the seller, clerk and recorder, real estate brokers and company for the title insurance. Once all this is complete the transaction is "closed." A policy of title insurance is prepared and delivered to the buyer about 30 days after the closing.
The duties of the closing/escrow company include:
- Managing the funds and/or documents in accordance with instructions
- Paying all bills as authorized
- Responding to requests from the principals
- Closing the escrow only when all terms and conditions have been met
- Distributing the funds accordingly
Generally, the real estate agent as part of the contract will fill out Closing Instructions to start the process. As soon as you complete the contract the broker will place the buyer's Earnest Money deposit into the escrow account at Equity Title and schedule a closing date.
What do I need to bring to closing appointment?
All parties signing the documents must bring proper identification. Bring either a valid driver's license, state identification card of current passport with you to the Equity Title of Washington, this is needed to verify your identity by the closer who is a notary public. This is a routine, but necessary step for your protection.