First-Time Buyer Series #6: How To Buy A Home – Opening Escrow

Buying your first home on Oahu can be a very exciting time for any prospective first-time homeowner. My job as a first-time buyer specialist is to make my first-time buyers feel comfortable and confident going through the home process. As first-time buyers, it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed and nervous, but with the right real estate agent with you along the way, the process will also be fun, educational, and all the worthwhile! 

Congratulations! You’ve signed an accepted contract with the seller of your soon-to-be new home. At this point, the excitement and anticipation should certainly be kicking in.

The initial stage of escrow may feel overwhelming for some. Everything is happening all at once! Here are a few things to expect within the first week of opening escrow:

1. Submit your Earnest Deposit Money to Escrow

Upon acceptance of an offer, the buyer’s initial deposit check is normally due into escrow within one business day. This amount gets held by escrow, which is a third party title company that assists in your transaction. The amount later gets applied to your down payment upon closing.

2. Complete & fill out necessary escrow documents

Within the first week, Escrow will be requesting you fill out their opening packet which will include information regarding title insurance and how you may want to hold title of the property.

3. Cooperation with your lender

If you’re financing the property, your lender will be reaching out accordingly to request any additional income documents that he/she may need to review. He or she may also need to run another credit check and will also discuss locking your interest rate. It is important that any lender requests be completed in a timely manner, otherwise unnecessary closing delays may occur.

4. Paperwork with your realtor

The following day after opening escrow, it may appear that your inbox is flooded with emails from your realtor. In addition to a copy of the purchase contract and any other addendums that you may have signed, I also personally provide my clients with an escrow timeline with a list of the dates and deadlines that the buyer should expect. You may also be receiving the seller’s disclosure and/or condo documents during this period.

5. Schedule your home inspection

Your realtor will also be reaching out to schedule your home inspection. It is recommended that you hire a professional home inspector to conduct your home inspection, which should be scheduled within the first week of escrow.

What should you expect at your home inspection? Read on to First-Time Buyer Series #7 – The Home Inspection.

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