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First, a little about "escrow". An escrow company is brought on to assure your property closes on time and the money exchanging part of closing goes smoothly. Escrow companies hold money for "safe-keeping" in a deal between a buyer and seller. For example, in an online auction, PayPal is the secure third party that obtains the buyer's cash, and then sends the funds to the seller.

The escrow company makes sure that the terms and conditions of the agreement between the sellers and the buyers are completed in preparation of the sale being finished.

Escrow holders look for the following pieces of paperwork:

  • 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
  • Fire and other insurance policies
  • Title insurance policies

You're ready to close when all parts are complete in escrow process. All expenses like title insurance, inspections and real estate commissions are paid. You'll then secure the title to the property and the title insurance gets issued as stated in the escrow instructions.

The escrow agent receives a payment when the closing is complete. As your REALTOR, I'll let you know what is an acceptable form of payment.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Assemble escrow instructions
  • Petition title search
  • Comply with lender's requirements as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Accept payments from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other paperwork as instructed
  • Request title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer are met
  • Disburse funds and finish instructions

The Escrow Holder Will Not:

  • Advise you - the escrow agent stays a neutral, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about the outcome of your taxes
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Prepare escrow instructions
  • Perform a title search
  • Meet lender's standards as noted in the escrow agreement
  • Receive funds 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
  • Give advice - the escrow agent stays at an impartial, third-party status
  • Give insight about tax implications

Mortgage Escrow Account

A Mortgage Escrow Account is established to make payments for on-going fees while there is a loan on the house. Escrow Accounts are contributed to monthly by the home buyer (who is now the homeowner), but there is also a lump sum that goes into the account at closing.

Once you're familiar with the escrow process, you can be a better buyer.

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