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The Home is Almost Yours

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Escrow: An escrow agent is brought on to assure your place closes on time and the money exchanging part of closing goes smoothly. When money is held by a third party in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, it's in escrow. For example, in an Internet purchase, PayPal is the secure third party that holds the buyer's money, and then sends the funds to the seller.

The escrow holder makes sure that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's negotiated agreement are performed prior to the sale being completed. This includes getting monies and certificates, completing required forms, and getting the release documents for any loans or liens that were paid off with the transaction, assuring you have a clear title to your home before the agreed upon price is fully paid.

The documents the escrow agent may obtain 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 finishing of all instructions of the escrow, closing can take place. All debts and fees are taken and paid at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). You'll then get the title to the home and the title insurance gets issued as outlined in the escrow instructions.

The escrow holder gets a payment at the completion of closing. As your real estate agent, I'll let you know what is an acceptable form of payment.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Assemble escrow instructions
  • Petition title search
  • Meet the bank's requirements as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Intake payments 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 instructions of seller and buyer have been met
  • Disburse payments and finalize instructions

The Escrow Holder Won't:

  • Give advice - the escrow holder stays at an impartial, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about future tax estimations
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Prepare escrow instructions
  • Request title search
  • Comply with lender's standards as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Accept payments from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
  • Obtain title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer have been finished
  • Disburse monies and finalize instructions
  • Give advice - the escrow company must maintain a neutral, third-party status
  • Give insight about future tax estimations

Mortgage Escrow Account

A Mortgage Escrow Account is used to make payments for 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.

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

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