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Escrow: An escrow holder is used to assure your home closes on time and the closing process goes smoothly. When funds are held by a third party in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, it's in escrow. A simple way to understand the concept of what an escrow company does is to think of how you might use PayPal for online purchases.

The escrow agent makes sure that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's agreement are performed prior to the sale being finalized. This includes securing funds and certificates, signing required forms, and seeking out the release documents for any loans or liens that are to be paid off with the transaction, assuring you have a free title to your place before the agreed upon price is fully paid.

Escrow holders collect the following documents:

  • 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
  • Fire and other insurance policies

Closing on the house takes place when the steps of the escrow are finished. At this time, all payments and dues for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are paid out. Title to the property is then transferred to you as now current homeowner and related title insurance is issued as noted in the escrow policy.

When closing is completed, you'll pay the fees to the escrow agent. We'll keep you updated on the next steps.

The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Prepare escrow instructions
  • Request title search
  • Comply with lender's guidelines 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 documents as instructed
  • Obtain title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer have been met
  • Disburse payments and finalize instructions
  • Offer advice - the escrow company stays a neutral, third-party status
  • Dispense opinions about the outcome of your taxes

Mortgage Escrow Account

Often, to pay recurring costs while there's a loan on the house, a Mortgage Escrow Account is created. Escrow Accounts are contributed to monthly by the home buyer (who is now the homeowner), but there is also a lump sum that goes into the account at closing.

This is a simple outline of the escrow process. Your particular methods may be different depending on your lender and your escrow agent.

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