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The Condo Mania Team

News > Moving to Scottsdale? 3 Escrow Differences to Know

published on 2019-03-23

Scottsdale is a popular place for second home buyers and people relocating for a job or retirement.  When most of the country is awash in rain or snow in March, we're enjoying our 70-80 degree weather, dry climate and relatively modern infrastructure, along with relatively low taxes.  If this is your first condo purchase (or any real estate purchase) in Arizona, you'll want to put aside any expectations for how escrow proceeds and allow your real estate agent, title agent and the contract to help you navigate the process.

Here are some aspects of the Arizona escrow process that may be different than what you are used to in the state you are moving from:

We Don't Use Lawyers

About a third of all US states are required by law to have attorneys involved in real estate escrows and closing.  In Arizona,  licensed real estate agents are allowed to fulfill that role for their clients in order to keep the escrow costs down.  Most real estate agents use the Arizona Association of Realtors standard contract, which is basically a fill-in-the blank contract that spells out not only the particulars of the purchase, but also how both parties will move through the inspection, title, loan and closing process.  Your real estate agent will help you with the inspection period and any negotiations needed not only for the contract, but also for repairs or price changes if an appraisal comes in low. 

The escrow company acts as a neutral party that handles some of the tasks that lawyers in other states normally do - like performing a title search, disbursing money and recording the deed.

Even though most transactions don't use attorneys, you are certainly are able to have your attorney review the contract and advise you through the process. 

Signing Closing Papers Doesn't mean the Place is Yours

In some states, the closing date is the date you show up with the funds, sign the deed and happily take over keys and ownership of your new place.  Not so fast in Arizona!  If you are getting a loan, your loan documents need to be signed 3 DAYS before closing.  Often, sellers sign paperwork well in advance of closing.  Close of Escrow (COE) happens when the deed is recorded, and this is after the escrow company completes all of it's due diligence in making sure all the funds are at the escrow company and all of the paperwork has been correctly signed.  Even if you are paying cash for the property, the escrow company suggests having funds wired and paperwork signed at least a day before COE.

The Close of Escrow date is specified on the contract.  Expect those keys in the afternoon, giving the escrow officer time for that final review and the recordation process.

You'll Want to Pay Attention to Contigencies

The Arizona Association of Realtors contract is very buyer friendly, more so than contracts in some other states where it's very hard to cancel a contract once it's been signed.   The default 10 day inspection period allows the buyer to cancel for any reason related to the property with the return of the earnest money.

There are several other contingencies as well such as the examination of the HOA documents, an appraisal for at least the purchase price (if the property is financed) and loan approval. 

The expiration of these contingencies are specified in the contract, so you won't want to be late when your real estate agents asks you to sign the Buyer Inspection Notice or review the appraisal results or the HOA package.  A good real estate agent will keep you apprised of these important dates.

If you have any questions regarding some of these escrow differences, contact us, we'd be happy to help!

Here is more Scottsdale Condo Buyers Information.


Though not guaranteed, information and statistics in this article have been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

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Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. The information being provided is for consumer's personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This information, including square footage, while not guaranteed, has been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

Last Updated: 2024-06-15 05:14:39