Congratulations! You decided this was the year you were going to buy a home, and it has been a long process. So far you have: been pre-approved by a lender, toured properties with your Realtor, wrote up an offer, and after negotiating you are officially…in escrow? What is escrow?

     When a property is in escrow, the home is under contract to be sold. While “in escrow” there are numerous tasks that must be completed. The time frame varies, but the average length for a residential escrow in California is 30-45 days. That may seem like a long time, but there are many tasks that need to be completed during this process.

     Activities that take place during an escrow vary from transaction to transaction. Generally speaking, when purchasing a residential home (with the help of a loan) the following events take place (but are not limited to): inspections performed, appraisals completed, repairs negotiated and made, title researched, loan underwritten and funded, and finally the sale records with the county.  Once the sale is on record with the county, escrow has “closed.”

     When you hear someone say the home is in escrow you will know it is under contract to be bought. If you hear they are “about to close escrow” the home has almost sold. When a Realtor tells you “escrow has closed” the home has been sold.

     Escrow is an exciting part of the home buying experience. It can be a lengthy process filled with many tasks and requirements, but once completed you will have achieved an iconic part of the American dream.

John Jennings, III

BRE# 01982171

John Jennings, III is a licensed Realtor® who works for Mid State Realty in Coalinga, CA. For more articles like this one go to John can be reached at and (559) 970-4312.

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