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Escrow: An escrow holder is used to assure your place closes on time and the closing process goes smoothly. A place is said to be in escrow when in the closing process, money is held by a third party on behalf of two parties when the transaction is taking place. PayPal is a simple way to think of an escrow company.

The escrow agent makes sure that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's agreement are reached prior to the sale being finished. This includes securing funds and certificates, filling out required forms, and getting the release documents for any loans or liens that have been paid off with the transaction, assuring you have a free title to your home before the final price is fully paid.

The pieces of paperwork the escrow agent may collect include:

  • Loan documents
  • Tax statements
  • 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

Closing on the house happens when the steps of the escrow are finished. All outstanding payments and fees are collected and paid at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). Title to the home is then transferred to you as new owner and related title insurance is issued as noted in the escrow instructions.

When closing is finished, you'll make a payment to the escrow holder. As your agent, I'll let you know what is an acceptable way of paying.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Write escrow instructions
  • Petition title research
  • Meet lender's guidelines as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Intake funds from the buyer
  • Prorate interest, insurance, tax and other payments according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other documents as instructed
  • Obtain title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer are complete
  • Disburse monies and finalize instructions

The Escrow Holder Won't:

  • Give advice - the escrow holder has to remain an impartial, third-party status
  • Give insight about future tax estimations
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Assemble escrow instructions
  • Petition title research
  • Comply with lender's requirements as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Intake funds from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
  • Obtain title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer are met
  • Disburse funds and finish instructions
  • Offer advice - the escrow agent has to remain an impartial, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about future tax estimations

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.

Now you know more about being in escrow. And, you can be a more confident home buyer and future homeowner.

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