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The Escrow Process
Escrow: To finalize the sale of a place, a neutral, third party (the escrow company) is brought into the picture to assure the process will close correctly and on time. When payment is held by a third party in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, it's in escrow. An easy way to understand what an escrow company does is to compare it to PayPal for Internet purchases.
Clearing the final hurdles like receiving funds, signing forms, securing the documents for loans and liens, and assuring you get a clean title to the property prior to your purchase gets finalized are all part of the job of the escrow agent. We'll review all your closing documents in advance with you and we'll be with you at closing to ensure all is correct.
The documents the escrow holder may secure include:
- 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. All expenses like title insurance, inspections and real estate commissions are paid. Title to the house is then transferred to the buyer as the new current homeowner and correct title insurance is issued as outlined in the escrow policy.
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:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
- Write escrow guidelines
- Request title search
- Meet lender's standards as outlined in the escrow agreement
- Intake funds from the buyer
- Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to guidelines
- Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
- Request title insurance policy
- Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer have been met
- Disburse payments and finalize instructions
- Give advice - the escrow holder must maintain a neutral, third-party status
- Give insight about tax implications
Mortgage Escrow Account
A Mortgage Escrow Account is established to pay rolling expenses while there is a loan on the house. Generally, the Escrow Account is partially funded at closing and the home buyer makes on-going contributions through their monthly mortgage payment.
This is a quick run-down of the escrow process. Your specific plan will be slightly different depending on your lender and your escrow agent.