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.