Escrow Details

Hawaii Buyers Escrow

1. Within 7 to 14 days of your offer being accepted you should have the home inspection done by a licensed home inspector, if you choose to have one, and strongly suggest you do. We can make recommendations for inspectors if you need. If this is a bank owned or short sale property, we will verify to see if Utilities are on. If they are not turned on, you might have to turn them on in your name if the bank is not willing to do so.

2. Once you are satisfied with the Home Inspection, and negotiate any repairs or credits for repairs if needed, then notify your lender and instruct to order your appraisal if they have not done so yet. If you are not satisfied, we can help you to renegotiate with the seller for a credit or repairs, or you can simply cancel the transaction.

3. It usually takes 3-21 days from the date your lender orders the appraisal for the appraiser to schedule and conduct the appraisal.

4. The appraisal takes 3-10 days for the report to be provided, VA appraisals can take 2-3 weeks.

5. During this time your lender should have, or requesting all of the required documents. It’s best to check with your lender to confirm they have everything they need.

6. You should start to get homeowners insurance quotes at this time. It’s suggested to send your insurance agent the MLS info sheet. You can ask our Transaction  Coordinator for the “MLS Info Sheet”. This will assist your insurance agent from asking you a million questions about the home.

7. When you’re about 3 days away from closing you should call the Gas, Electric and Water Company and ask to “Transfer Utilities” for the date of your closing, our Transaction Coordinator can assist you with their contact information.

8. You should do a “Final Walkthrough” of the property you are purchasing within 72 hours before closing to confirm the property is in the same condition that it was in when you agreed to purchase the property. We will schedule this with you.

9. On the day of closing you will need your driver’s license for all signers and a Cashiers Check for the amount you are required to bring to closing. Your Escrow agent will be the one to give you the amount you will need to bring to closing. The Cashiers Check should be made out to the title and escrow company. This is very important. It must be a Bank Cashiers Check and it must be made out to the title and escrow company.

10. If your name is on the purchase agreement, you will need to be present at the closing or have signed a power of attorney for someone to sign on your behalf. If you are doing a power of attorney, you will need to notify our closing department and your lender at least seven days prior to closing. If you are not in Hawaii, a mobile notary can be arranged, and if out of the country we need to schedule a Notary at a US Embassy.

11. The day before closing or sometimes even the day of, you should be in communication with your lender and Escrow agent, because they will tell you exactly how much you need to bring to closing. Don’t be surprised if you get this number the day of closing or even an hour or two before closing. This is not unusual.

12. Closings are typically done Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 P.M. The closing should take 1 to 3 hours depending on if everyone is on time. If this is a late closing say 3:00 or later, there is a very good chance it will not fund until the next day. Check with your Escrow agent to see what can be completed ahead of time.


Buyer F.A.Q.’s

1. If I find items during the home inspection that are broken or need to be repaired can I ask the seller to repair or replace?
Yes, you can ask for the items to be repaired, replaced or you can ask for a credit towards closing costs or a price reduction for an estimated amount and then you will assume the repairs and work needed to be done.
2. If I get denied on my loan will I get my earnest money deposit back?
Yes you will, assuming your purchase agreement has a contingency. this is not guaranteed in Hawaii unless both seller and buyer agree, though if seller does not agree it prevents them from selling to another.
3. What if the home doesn’t appraise for what we offered them?
If the home doesn’t appraise we can go back to the negotiating table trying to find a price that everyone agrees to.
4. Can I pay over the appraised value if I want to?
Yes you can, more times than not, it is a compromise between the buyer and seller. However anything you pay over the appraised value is that much more than your required down payment that you will need to bring to the closing.


Escrow Closing Preparations and Duties

A few of the items in Escrow to close the deal…

  • Make sure contract is signed by all parties.
  • Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender.
  • Update closing forms and files.
  • Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale.
  • Select location for closing.
  • Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties.
  • Solve any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc.) or in obtaining death certificates.
  • Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s final walkthrough prior to closing.
  • Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable prorations.
  • Request final closing figures from closing agent.
  • Receive and carefully review closing figures to ensure accuracy.
  • Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent.
  • Request copy of closing documents from closing agent.
  • Confirm the buyer and buyer’s agent received title insurance commitment.
  • Provide “Home Owners Warranty” for availability at closing.
  • Review all closing documents carefully for errors.
  • Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested.
  • Review documents with closing agent.
  • Provide earnest money deposit from escrow account to closing agent.
  • Coordinate closing with seller’s next purchase, resolving timing issues.
  • Have a “no surprises” closing so that seller receives a net proceeds check at closing.
  • Refer sellers to one of the best agents at their destination, if applicable.
  • Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.
  • Close out listing in transaction management program.
  • Pick up your check….

Seller’s Escrow Checklist

  1. Verify the escrow company received a copy of the offer to purchase real estate
  2. Verify the escrow company received the earnest money deposit
  3. Obtain a prequalification letter from buyer
  4. Obtain proof of funds sufficient to close from buyer
  5. Review escrow instructions provided by the escrow company
  6. Complete the Sellers Disclosure packet & provide to buyer
  7. Verify escrow has the preliminary title report, termite certificate, survey, and the HOA docs and HOA transfer fee, if applicable
  8. Verify buyers lender scheduled the appraisal, so that the appraisal contingency can be removed
  9. Verify with buyer that the loan and loan contingency removal is on track
  10. Facilitate the buyer scheduling inspections, such as the general home inspection, termite inspection and any special inspections (roof, mold, fireplace, etc.)
  11. Complete any paperwork required by the escrow company, such as the FIRPTA or HARPTA, wire transfer instructions, commission instructions, and deed transfer documents.
  12. Respond to any Request for Repair
  13. Receive from buyer the signed copy of the Sellers Disclosure packet
  14. Receive from buyer any signed Contingency removal forms, removing all contingencies, on or before the contingency removal date
  15. Review estimated closing costs and resolve any questions
  16. Schedule the final walk-through date/time with the buyer
  17. Hold the final walk-through with the buyer
  18. Confirm the escrow company has everything it needs for closing
  19. Confirm with the escrow company escrow has closed; and
  20. Confirm with your bank that seller proceeds were transferred to you from the escrow company
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