1. ORDER TAKEN: An "escrow contract" (an agreement to close) starts the process.
2. TAX CHECK: What are the taxes owed on the property? The various collectors are contacted.
3. TITLE SEARCH: Copies of documents are gathered from various public records including deeds, paving assessments, liens, mortgages, wills, and divorce settlements.
5. TYPING: Forms are prepared for settlement.
4. EXAMINATION: Verification of the legal owner(s) and any outstanding debts.
6. SETTLEMENT: Escrow officer oversees closing of transaction; the seller signs deed, buyer signs new mortgage. The old loan is paid off, a new loan is recorded. Sellers, realtors, attorney, title company and others are paid.