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Completing the Transaction

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First, a little about "escrow". An escrow company is brought on to assure your place closes on time and the process goes smoothly. A home is said to be in escrow when in the closing transaction, funds is secured by a third party on behalf of two parties (in this case, a buyer and a seller) when the exchange of money takes place. PayPal is a simple way to think of an escrow company.

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 finished. This includes securing funds and paperwork, completing required forms, and seeking out the release documents for any loans or liens that have been paid off with the transaction, assuring you have a clear title to your property before the asking price is fully paid.

These are the legal documents that escrow holders usually look to collect:

  • 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
  • Title insurance policies

Upon completion of all portions of the escrow, closing can take place. All payments owed and fees are taken and paid off at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). Title to the house is then transferred to you as now current homeowner and correct title insurance is issued as outlined in the escrow policy.

When closing is completed, you'll submit a payment to the escrow agent. I'll keep you informed on the next steps.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Prepare escrow guidelines
  • Request title inquiry
  • Comply with lender's guidelines as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Intake payments from the buyer
  • Prorate tax, interest, insurance and other fees according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other documents as instructed
  • Request title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer are met
  • Disburse funds and finalize instructions

The Escrow Holder Won't:

  • Offer advice - the escrow agent must stay at a fair, third-party status
  • Give insight about tax implications
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Prepare escrow instructions
  • Perform a title search
  • Meet lender's standards as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Accept payments from the buyer
  • Prorate interest, insurance, tax and other payments according to guidelines
  • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
  • Obtain title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer are complete
  • Disburse funds and finish instructions
  • Give advice - the escrow company has to remain an impartial, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about tax implications

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.

This is a quick run-down of the escrow process. Your specific methods might be different depending on your lender and your escrow agent.

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