The time it takes to close escrow can vary from a few days for all-cash buyers to a few weeks for buyers who need to obtain a loan… or longer, if the buyer isn’t ready to move. This post will explain what happens during escrow and will explain several things that can impact your escrow closing timeline.
The buyer and seller always agree to an escrow timeline before they finalize the offer. Sellers have the option to accept whatever escrow timeline works for them, though there are a few things to keep in mind.
Escrow Timeline: Buyer Needs a Loan
In today’s environment, it can be difficult for a buyer to get a loan approved and funded in fewer than 30 days, as banks and appraisers simply do not work that quickly. While less optimal for the seller, a 45-day closing period allows a friendlier pace for the buyer and loan officer. That said, as the seller you can always insist on 30 days and then allow extra time if and when needed. If the buyer is obtaining a non-conventional loan, such as an FHA or VA loan, the timeline could increase.
Escrow Timeline: All Cash Buyer
Timelines tend to be significantly shorter when the buyer is purchasing entirely with cash. Sellers can typically expect an all-cash buyer to set a closing date between 3 and 20 days from acceptance of the offer.
The escrow timeline will typically depend on:
- How readily available the cash is to the buyer
- Whether the seller’s home is vacant or a longer escrow time is needed for the seller to move out
- Whether the seller has completed the seller's disclosures in advance and shared it with the buyer
- Whether the buyer intends to conduct any real estate inspections, such as a general home inspection.
Sellers may sometimes request a longer escrow period (60 to 90 days, for example) if they're not ready to move out of their current property. They may be waiting for construction to be completed on their new home, or they may want to wait for their children to finish the school year.
For most sellers, the shorter the escrow timeframe and the faster you close escrow, the better. A shorter closing period means there is less time to stress and less time for a deal to go wrong. Think about what timeframe will work best in advance and if you're flexible, work with the buyer's needs.