What do cats and landing airplanes have in common?

“Talk about herding cats!”  This is what my client just said to me as she got the news that her property just closed escrow.  I’d not heard that one before.  Many times, buyers do not know what their Realtors do to get to close of escrow.

When I explain the escrow process to buyer clients, I usually use the analogy of landing a plane…several things have to happen simultaneously, or in sequence.  I tell them that there could be some turbulence along the way.  Usually we get all get a nervous chuckle out of knowing that the worst case is the plane crash (i.e. the deal falls apart).







I prepare each buyer that the transaction is never a done deal until keys are exchanged.

Any number of challenges or hiccups can occur along the way.  These are the high level issues – if I broke it down, there would be over 100 potential issues that can arise during escrow.

  1.   Preliminary Title Report, Inspections, or other disclosures may uncover something unexpected
  2.   Lender conditions, requirements
  3.   Timing issues related to moving money, scheduling, and time difference of the parties
  4.   The style and expectations of the other agent or agents
  5.   The style and expectations of the other principal or principals
  6.   Misrepresentation on the part of any involved party
  7.   Government (city, county, state) point-of-sale requirement glitches
  8.   Organization – Realtors or Escrow loses or sends out incorrect documents
  9.   Appraiser and/or appraiser issues – comparables, schedule, lack of local market understanding
  10.   Communication issues – preference for how & when documents are sent/received

Each team member needs to do their job in a timely manner (Sellers and Buyers, each Realtor, Escrow team members, Lender team members) – there are usually a minimum of 10 people working on an escrow file – there could be more, or less.

So yes, it’s cause for celebration when escrow successfully closes, to the satisfaction of both buyer and seller!