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Escrow Inspections and Appraisals

Now that your offer has been accepted, it’s time to open escrow. We have helped hundreds of clients successfully navigate this sometimes tricky legal landscape. We’re ready to do the same for you.

What is escrow?

Whether you are the buyer or the seller, you want the assurance that no funds or property will change hands until ALL of the instructions in the transaction have been followed. An escrow company is an impartial third party between the buyer and the seller with the legally-regulated obligation to safeguard the funds and/or documents while they are in the possession of the escrow holder, and to disburse funds and/or convey title only when all provisions of the escrow have been complied with.


Disclosures are generated by the Seller, and may vary based on property type, but often include things like known flaws with the property, prior improvements or repairs, and known environmental hazards. These disclosures are based entirely on the seller’s non-professional knowledge, but are intended to give any buyer some insight into the condition of the property based on their experiences during time of ownership. Think along the lines of “We replaced the windows last year”, “Crack in driveway” or “The roof leaks”… not a substitute for, but rather a supplement to any professional inspections you have.


As agreed upon in the contract, you, the buyer, may elect to perform inspections on the property. These inspections must be completed by a certain date, which is called the inspection contingency date. The types of inspections vary by property type and situation (and locale), but common inspections include a general physical inspection, pest inspection, roof inspection, chimney inspection, property boundary survey, well, pool/spa, arborist, mold, and/or sewer inspection. We have a team of inspectors that can help you examine every facet of your property.

Repairs and Credits.

Based on the content of the seller’s disclosures and the outcome of any inspections performed, you may elect to ask the seller for repairs, credits towards repairs, or a reduction in the sale price. Sellers have three options:(1) agree to all of the buyer’s requests, (2) offer a modified solution back to the buyer, or (3) decline to make any amends. In response, the buyer can continue to negotiate, accept the seller’s position, or in some cases where terms cannot be reconciled, end the transaction and recoup their earnest money.


During almost all escrows, a Title Company will examine and insure title to the real estate in question. After researching the complete recorded history of the property, they’ll certify that (1) the title is free and clear of encumbrances (eg. mortgages, leases, or restrictions) by the date of closing,and (2) all new encumbrances are duly included in the title. You may wish to consult with an attorney or tax advisor on the best way to hold title. Different methods of holding title have different legal, estate, and tax implications. When a preliminary report is drawn up, we will go over it with you in detail.

Loan approval and Appraisal.

While we will make sure to include a pre-approval letter with the offer package you submit, you have a window of time while in escrow to finalize the loan. The bank will take this time to dive deeper into your finances to ensure they can deliver the promised loan. Expect an appraiser from the lender’s company to review the property and verify that the sales price is appropriate for their needs. If your offer is “all-cash” then these steps will usually be bypassed.


When a renegotiation is demanded on any item, you can be sure we will act fairly while keeping your best interests in mind. This is when a professional buyers agent can make a real difference in the outcome of the transaction. We guarantee our expertise and total commitment to each of our clients, no matter their situation. We will find a path to your goals.


A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding. These can include a physical inspection, title review, ability to obtain financing, appraisal, and insurance, among others. If any are requested, the negotiation of repairs and/or credits will be a contingency for closing an escrow. Only once all contingencies have been met and removed will an escrow “close.”