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Let's talk about "escrow". When you're closing on your new property, a neutral, third party (known as the escrow holder or the escrow agent) is used to insure the transaction will close properly and in a certain amount of time. When funds are held by a third party in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, it's in escrow. PayPal is a simple way to think of an escrow company.

The escrow holder makes sure that the terms and conditions of the agreement between the seller and buyer are reached prior to the sale being finished.

These are the legal forms that escrow holders usually look to collect:

  • 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 collected. You'll then secure the title to the house and the title insurance gets dispersed as agreed upon in the escrow instructions.

At the close of escrow, fees are paid in an acceptable form to the escrow. You'll know when it's time to submit the form of payment.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Prepare escrow instructions
  • Petition title search
  • Meet the bank's requirements as written in the escrow agreement
  • Intake 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 met
  • Disburse funds and finalize instructions

The Escrow Holder Will Not:

  • Tell you what's best - the escrow company must stay at a fair, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about tax implications
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Write escrow instructions
  • Perform a title research
  • Comply with the bank's requirements as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Receive payments from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to guidelines
  • Record deeds and other paperwork as instructed
  • Obtain title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer are complete
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions
  • Tell you what's best - the escrow company stays a neutral, third-party status
  • Dispense opinions about future tax estimations

Mortgage Escrow Account

Creating a Mortgage Escrow Account helps keep track of on-going expenses while there's a loan on your house. Though most home buyers make payments via their monthly mortgage payment, Escrow Accounts are deposited into at closing as well.

This is a quick run-down of the escrow process. Your particular methods could be slightly different depending on your lender and your escrow company.

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