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A neutral, third party (known as the escrow holder or the escrow agent) is used to assure your home closes on time and the closing process goes smoothly. Escrow agents hold money for "safe-keeping" in transactions between a buyer and seller. An easy way to think of what an escrow company does is to compare it to PayPal for Internet purchases.

Tying up any loose ends like receiving funds, signing forms, obtaining the documents for loans and liens, and making sure you get a spotless title to the house prior to your purchase gets finalized are all part of the job of the escrow company.

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The documents the escrow holder may secure include:

  • 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
  • Loan documents

You're ready to close when all steps are done in escrow process. At this time, all payments and dues for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are taken. Title to the home is then transferred to you as buyer and related title insurance is issued as outlined in the escrow policy.

At the close of escrow, payment of funds shall be made in an acceptable form to the escrow. We will keep you up-to-date on the procedure.

The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Prepare escrow guidelines
  • Request title inquiry
  • Comply with lender's standards as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Intake funds from the buyer
  • Prorate interest, insurance, tax and other payments according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other paperwork as instructed
  • Request title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer are met
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions
  • Tell you what's best - the escrow company stays a neutral, third-party status
  • Dispense opinions about tax implications

Mortgage Escrow Account

Often, to pay recurring costs while there's a loan on the house, a Mortgage Escrow Account is created. 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 simple to understand guide about the escrow process. Your individual plan may be slightly different depending on your lender and your escrow holder.

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