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Escrow: To finish the sale of a house, a neutral, third party (the escrow agent) is employed to assure the process will close correctly and on time. When funds are held by a third party in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, it's in escrow. For example, in an online transaction, PayPal is the reliable third party that obtains the buyer's money, and then sends the money to the seller.

Settling the last details like receiving funds, completing forms, getting the documents for loans and liens, and assuring you get a spotless title to the property prior to your purchase gets finalized are all parts of closing in which an escrow holder is useful.

Escrow companies look for the following records:

  • 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
  • Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing

You're ready to close when all steps are finished in escrow process. All debts and fees are taken and paid at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). The house's title goes to you and title insurance begins per the policies of your individual escrow agreement.

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 guidelines
  • Petition title inquiry
  • Comply with the bank's standards as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Accept payments from the buyer
  • Prorate tax, interest, insurance and other fees according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
  • Obtain title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer are complete
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions

The Escrow Holder Will Not:

  • Tell you what's best - the escrow holder must maintain a neutral, third-party status
  • Give insight about tax implications
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Assemble escrow instructions
  • Petition title research
  • Meet lender's guidelines as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Receive payments 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 instructions of seller and buyer are met
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions
  • Tell you what's best - the escrow holder must stay at a fair, third-party status
  • Give insight 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. Usually, the home buyer makes a payment at closing and also makes regular deposits through their monthly mortgage payment to fund the Escrow Account.

Once you have the rules of the escrow process down, you can be a better buyer.