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Escrow: An escrow agent is brought on to assure your property closes on time and the transaction goes smoothly. When money is held by a third party in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, it's in escrow. For example, in an Internet transaction, PayPal is the neutral third party that obtains the buyer's money, and then hands over the money to the seller.

The escrow company is careful to assure that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's agreement are met prior to the sale being finalized. This includes getting monies and certificates, completing required forms, and seeking out the release documents for any loans or liens that are to be cleared with the transaction, assuring you have a free title to your house before the agreed upon price is fully paid.

These are the legal forms that escrow companies usually compile:

  • Fire and other insurance policies
  • Title insurance policies
  • Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing
  • Requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds
  • Loan documents
  • Tax statements

Upon completion of all portions of the escrow, closing can take place. At this time, all payments and dues for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are taken. The property's title goes to you and title insurance begins per the policies of your individual escrow process.

The escrow company gets a payment when the closing is complete. I'll keep you up-to-date on what comes next.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Prepare escrow instructions
  • Request title research
  • Meet the bank's guidelines as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Accept payments from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
  • Request title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer are complete
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions

The Escrow Holder Will Not:

  • Give advice - the escrow agent has to remain an impartial, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about future tax estimations
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Assemble escrow instructions
  • Request title search
  • Comply with lender's guidelines as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Intake funds from the buyer
  • Prorate tax, interest, insurance and other fees according to guidelines
  • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
  • Obtain title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer have been finished
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions
  • Advise you - the escrow agent has to remain an impartial, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about tax implications

Mortgage Escrow Account

Often, to pay recurring costs while there's a loan on the house, a Mortgage Escrow Account is created. Though most home buyers make payments via their monthly mortgage payment, Escrow Accounts are deposited into at closing as well.

Once you're at ease with the escrow process, you can be a informed buyer.

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