Many of my east coast friends and relatives have told me that when they close on realty transactions, everyone goes to the same table – buyers, sellers, the attorneys for each and the real estate agents for each. Not only do they all meet in one room to finalize the deal, but when it’s over, the property transfers title right then.
Not so in Silicon Valley!
Here in northern California, buyers and sellers sign off separately, and almost never are lawyers involved. The closing or sign off happens 5-7 days prior to the deed being recorded and title transferring. The buyers often have both their real estate agent and their lender present to answer any questions. This final paperwork is most often done at a title company’s office. Also for the seller, it’s usually at the title company and the agent is present.
What happens on the day of closing, then? There are two main events that take place on the day that escrow closes and the real estate sale is finalized. First, the title company gets the deeds recorded with the County of Santa Clara. One employee goes to the county recorder’s office and gets each deed recorded for that company’s closings. When finished, he or she phoned the branches and confirms that recording did take place. The escrow officer or assistant will then call (sometimes email) the Realtors or licensees involved and tell them “we have confirmation – we are on record”. The agents, in turn, notify the buyer(s) and seller(s). The second thing that happens is that the new buyer gets keys to the home! This is true even if there is a rent back, since the buyer is now a landlord, even if it’s just for a little while.