Escrow 101: The Seller’s Opening Document Package

Escrow Documents Made Simple

In the early days following the opening of your escrow, you can expect to receive a package of documents and forms from your escrow officer. Here we provide a description of these documents and a simple explanation of what they mean.

While each escrow is unique, the opening document package for a typical sale escrow is likely to include:

Escrow Holder Acknowledgment

On this document, San Diego Escrow Company acknowledges receipt of the Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions and agrees to perform the duties of Escrow Holder.

Statement of Information

Your title insurance company will make a thorough search of the public records along with its process of examining the title to the property. The information you provide on the Statement of Information will be used to clear judgments and liens that do not directly affect you or the property. This information is confidential and will be used only to help the title company complete its work.

Property Information Statement

Use this form to provide information about any existing loans you may have on your property and to identify your homeowner’s association for your escrow officer. Fully completing this statement will assist in the processing of your escrow.

Affidavit of Non-Foreign Status

Your signature on this affidavit certifies that you are a U. S. resident. Foreign persons, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, are subject to federal tax withholding when they sell property. To learn more about how tax withholding may affect you, consult with your accountant, attorney, or the Internal Revenue Service. The website for the IRS is

1099-S Input Form

The information you supply on this form will be used by your escrow officer to produce IRS form 1099-S.

California Real Estate Withholding Forms 593, Forms 593-C and 593-E

The State of California requires tax withholding for Sellers who do not meet residency requirements. Your answers to the questions on these forms will determine whether you are subject to withholding.

Grant Deed

This important document will transfer the title to your property to the Buyer on the day of closing. Be sure to sign it before a Notary Public and bring a current photo I.D. when you do so.

Special Documents

If the title to your property is not held in your name as an individual (such as in a trust or corporation) or there are unique conditions affecting your interest in the property, you may have some additional document requirements during the escrow process. Your escrow officer will advise you about these items.