Escrow: Now What?

Congratulations, you are on your way to owning your very own home! Follow these suggestions (and your Realtors's advice) so that escrow and settlement with go as smooth as possible.

You will be asked for a down payment on the home you are purchasing. You can choose to put down as much or as little as you want (depending on your mortgage), but remember, the more you put down toward the total price of your home, the less time it will take you to pay off and the less your mortgage payments will be every month.

During this period of purchasing your home, you are going to need an escrow or settlement company to act as an independent third party so that you know when and who to give your money to get the deed to your new home. The escrow or settlement company will hold your deposit and coordinate much of the activity that goes on during the escrow period. This deposit check may also be held by an attorney or in the broker's trust account. Make sure that there are sufficient funds in your account to cover this check.

The deposit check will be cashed. Assuming the sale goes through, this money will be applied to the purchase price of the home. If for any reason the sale is not consummated, you may be entitled to receive all of your deposit back, less standard cancellation fees. In certain instances, the seller may be able to retain this money as liquidated damages. Prior to executing a purchase contract, it would be wise to speak with your counsel regarding whether or not it is your best interest to have a liquidated damages clause as part of the contract.

1. The period that you are "in escrow" is often 30 days, but may be longer or shorter. During this time, each item specified in the contract must be completed satisfactorily. By the time you have opened escrow, you have come to an agreement with the seller on the closing date and the contingencies. Each contract is different, but most include the following: 1. Inspection contingency: this should be completed as soon as possible after the contract to purchase is signed as unsatisfactory results of the inspection may mean that you will want to cancel the contract.

2. Financing contingency: Once the contract is signed, you have a period of time to secure funding. If, for any reason, you are unable to secure funding during the period of time granted to you by the contract (and the seller will not provide a written extension of time), you must decide whether you want to remove the contingency and take your chances on getting a loan. You may choose to cancel the purchase contract.

3. A requirement that the seller must provide marketable title. With an attorney or title officer, review the title report. The title must be "clear" to ensure that you do not have legal issues regarding your ownership. Check into local and state ordinances regarding property transfer and make sure that you and/or the seller have complied with them.

4. Secure homeowner's insurance. This will probably be required before you can close the sale. Due to such requirements as special fire and earthquake insurance, obtaining this insurance may require a lengthy period of time. It would be in your best interest to apply for insurance as soon as possible after the contract is signed.

5. Contact local utility companies to schedule to have service turned on when you close escrow.

6. Schedule the final walk-through inspection. At this time, you should make sure that the property is exactly as the contract says it should be. What you thought to be a "permanently attached" chandelier that would come with the property might have been removed by the seller and replaced with a different fixture entirely.

You've made it! Once the sale has closed, you're the proud owner of a new home. Congratulations!

Home Buying Testimonials
You took care of us. You didn't let us buy a house right away that would have been a mistake in the long run. You stuck with us even when the offers weren't working out and when we were being picky about what we wanted. Our price range was hard to work with, and you got us an amazing deal on a house! Thanks!
Travis and Anastasia Sullinger
Ricky is one of a kind. Buying a house is a big decision, and Ricky made us feel confident through the whole process. He is knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I would recommend him to anyone.
Lamar and Jill Stockton
Very knowledgeable and honest, always available, good adviser, knew the right people to fix any house problems after inspections. Ricky took on the burden of many tedious tasks. We got a great deal in an amazing area. The more we are in the house the more we love it!
Scott and Tina McLeod
You got the sellers to lower the selling price of the home and got the sellers to pay for a lot of our closing costs. That was awesome. For a while there it felt as if we were not going to get this house with all the mess that seemed to come up. But after all the changes, new lender, and you being our mediator in all this we finally got the home we wanted. Thank you so much for all your help. We look forward to you being a part of our family and helping out my family when they are ready to move into their new homes.
Robert and Julie Gallegos
You delivered on what you promised and you were accessible when I needed to contact you. I would use you again if I needed any real estate services and I will be referring you to others. You did everything I asked and more. Everything went well and it was a stress free transaction! Thank you.
Chance Lindgren
Great negotiator. You got us a great house at a great price, and amazingly responsive to our questions and concerns.
Josh and Erin Magnuson
You know you are the best Realtor in Texas and anytime I have heard something about selling or buying homes I have always recommended you, my friend. I honestly think you changed the life of my family, and that is something I will appreciate forever. Your advice was tremendously useful and now we live in the house of our dreams due to your splendid work, and the best thing is that you got it with a really decent price.  Thank you very much.
Cesar and Sofia Diaz
Agent showing us houses made herself available late night and went above and beyond to make properties available to show; follow up after purchase and advocacy on an issue not caught in the inspection. I'm sure behind the scenes communication with our mortgage lender and insurance agent was exceptional as well since there were no "bumps" in the closing process like there usually is.
Scott and Sara Postma
Ricky was just really great to work with and really helped us see the little things in each property we viewed.
Ben Snow and Chris Drake
I own my own company & I would suggest anyone who has a service business to take a lesson from The Cain Team. Outstanding job! The Cain Team's attention to detail and anticipation of my needs was exceptional, and their follow up after closing has been superb.
Paul Batrice
Start to finish, the Cain Team really took care of us. Their professionalism is unmatched! We were new to the process, so they really guided us from start to finish. They protected us in every way so that we were not taken advantage of by other service providers. They stayed on top of every aspect of the transaction and made it all happen as quickly as possible! Awesome, fun, experience. We learned so much from the experts at the Cain Team! Thanks! Highly recommend this wonderful group of professionals!
Darla and Hemang Thakkar
KodiKay was amazing! I don't think I've ever seen a person that is more on top of things than Kodikay. My wife spoke with her throughout the process but I was blown away with how good she was.
Alex and Wendy Case
Provided an upfront honest assessment of our home, and delivered high quality potential buyers.
Chris Stiner
The Cain team is beyond professional, responsive and informative. In times of uncertainty during our home buying process they were patient and made sure to get us the answers we needed. In short, they exceeded our expectations and got us into a beautiful home!
Sarah and Daniel Hill
The Cain Team listened to every word I said. They took into consideration my needs and feelings towards this entire process. The Cain Team was patient with me and let me be as indecisive as I wanted to but still gave me the best advice as to make the best decision for myself.
Deborah Mendez
In July, my husband and I were vacationing here in Austin and made a quick decision to look at real estate. We contacted my sister who is a broker in California and she gave us three possible agents we could meet with here in Austin, TX. Ricky Cain and "Team Cain" were who we chose to work with. In a whirlwind weekend we went from discussing the possibility of moving and relocating from California to Austin to scheduling appointments to see homes. Ricky and Brennan were consummate professionals throughout every step of the way. They met us on the emotional side of wanting amazing schools and acreage so I could fulfill my dream of being a hobby farmer with chickens (not kidding). They adapted to our ever changing needs in the introductory phase of looking a property and continued to evolve with us as we went from being near the capital to closer to Dripping Springs. They were amazing! We took a tremendous risk and made an offer on a home and sold our home in California within a week. It was CRAZY stressful. I have a high pressure job and travel extensively for work and I have to say I would have lost my mind if I didn't have KodiKay specifically as my moving fairy Godmother. Hiccups occurred along the way (as it always does with moving/relocating) but I felt like they treated me like family. KodiKay answered all of my calls, emails, texts etc. in a way that made me feel like I was her only client. This was a HUGE plus for me since I am ALWAYS busy with work. My sister who is the most protective person ever & a brilliant real estate agent/broker approved of everything they did along the way. I felt truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with such a team of excellent professionals and I am picky. I am a Sales Executive and demand that I am treated the way I treat clients, and the Cain team met and exceeded all of my expectation. I am happy to report we have a beautiful home on an acre and I have my beautiful chickens, my kids love their school, and my husband and I couldn't be happier that we chose the Cain Team as our real estate agents. We would recommend them to anyone and would use them again in a heartbeat.....especially if we decide to get goats and need more land. They can find your dream home whether its upscale Austin beauty on a little bit of country. This team is the BEST. A++ for being extraordinary.
Bert and Guinevere Lynn
Took the stress out of purchasing a home, and provided useful information in every step of the process.
Larry and Rachel Stubbs
Outside of the exceptional customer service, we appreciated that you took time to meet with us in the office first, prior to showing us houses or sending us listings, because it made us feel like you not merely trying to "sell" us a house. One of the things that you all said, that really resonated with us, was that you weren't going to waste our time by drive us around to a bunch of houses, you took the time to really listen to us, which set our experience with The Cain Team apart from other brokers that we worked with previously. We felt like you were on our side the entire time working for us (not a paycheck), which of course builds trust and loyalty....both of which you earned from us.
Thomas and Shiva Standifur
I am one that likes to research prior to selecting service providers. The Cain team was one that had a good reputation, and after a few interesting twists and turns during our journey we ended up going with them. My wife and I could not believe the level of customer service and care that this team provided. We have had experiences with other agents, but the level of knowledge and information that they provided for us was impressive. I have a feeling that this team never goes home at night, because I cannot see how they were able to keep on top of everything they were doing for us, all while working with other clients as well. It is a funny thing to say, but we feel as though we made a bunch of friends on the team, and we are a little sad to have to move on. BUT, we are now in our dream home because of them, so I guess we will be a little sad while we sit smiling in luxury :)
Brandon and Misty Poe
Always kept me notified on new MLS listings. I was always followed up with if I had questions they were answered immediately, very attentive.
Terran McTeer
Ricky and KodiKay are amazing. They found us the perfect house on our very first day of house hunting (first house we looked at) and helped us through every step of our home buying experience with grace and professionalism. I wholeheartedly recommend Cain and Company for all your real estate needs.
Josh and Erin Magnuson
Ricky helped us tremendously throughout the entire process of home searching and buying. He is very knowledgeable about the process, from finding homes in the Austin market, to negotiating during a multiple-offer situation. From the very beginning you can tell he wants what is best for his clients. He is very responsive and is quick to call and set up a viewing as soon as a good home comes on the market (or sometimes premarket). Also, if you like more of the personal touch, you will always be invited to join in on his monthly happy hour parties. We will definitely call Ricky if ever we sell our home in the future.
Matt Gately