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Escrow: To complete the sale of a home, a neutral, third party (the escrow agent) is brought into the picture to assure the transaction will close appropriately and on time. A place is said to be in escrow when in the closing transaction, funds is secured by a third party on behalf of a buyer and a seller when the transaction is taking place. An easy way to think of what an escrow company does is to think of the use of PayPal for Internet purchases.

The escrow agent insures that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's negotiated agreement are performed prior to the sale being finished. This includes securing monies and paperwork, filling out required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that were paid with the transaction, assuring you have a clear title to your property before the asking price is fully paid.

Escrow holders look for the following legal documents:

  • 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

You're ready to close when each step of the finished in escrow process. At this time, all payments and dues for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are paid out. You'll then get the title to the home and the title insurance gets issued as agreed upon in the escrow instructions.

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

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Assemble escrow guidelines
  • Request title inquiry
  • Comply with the bank's requirements as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Receive payments 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 are met
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions

The Escrow Holder Won't:

  • Offer advice - the escrow company must stay at a fair, third-party status
  • Dispense opinions about the outcome of your taxes
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Prepare escrow instructions
  • Request title search
  • Comply with the bank's standards as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Accept funds from the buyer
  • Prorate tax, interest, insurance and other fees 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 met
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions
  • Give advice - the escrow holder stays at an impartial, third-party status
  • Give insight about tax implications

Mortgage Escrow Account

A Mortgage Escrow Account is used to make payments for on-going expenses while there is a loan on the house. Though most home buyers make payments via their monthly mortgage payment, Escrow Accounts are deposited into at closing as well.

Once you have the basics of the escrow process down, you can be a informed buyer.

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