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The House is Almost Yours

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Escrow: When you're closing on your new property, an escrow holder is used to make certain the process will close properly and in a specific time frame. A house is said to be in escrow when in the closing process, payment is secured by a third party on behalf of two parties (in this case, a buyer and a seller) when the transaction is taking place. PayPal is a simple way to think of an escrow company.

The escrow company is careful to assure that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's contract are performed prior to the sale being finalized. This includes receiving funds and documents, filling out required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that were paid off with the transaction, assuring you have a clear title to your place before the agreed upon price is fully paid.

The certificates the escrow holder may secure include:

  • 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

Closing on the house takes place when all of the procedures of the escrow are done. All expenses like title insurance, inspections and real estate commissions are paid. Title to the property is then transferred to you as new homeowner and appropriate title insurance is issued as outlined in the escrow policy.

When closing is finished, you'll make a payment to the escrow holder. I'll keep you up-to-date on the next steps.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Assemble escrow instructions
  • Petition title research
  • Comply with lender's guidelines as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Intake funds from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments 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 have been met
  • Disburse monies and finish instructions

The Escrow Holder Won't:

  • Tell you what's best - the escrow agent must maintain a neutral, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about tax implications
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Prepare escrow guidelines
  • Perform a title inquiry
  • Comply with lender's guidelines as written in the escrow agreement
  • Intake payments from the buyer
  • Prorate tax, interest, insurance and other fees according to guidelines
  • Record deeds and other documents as instructed
  • Request title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer are complete
  • Disburse funds and finalize instructions
  • Offer advice - the escrow agent must stay at a fair, third-party status
  • Offer 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. Generally, the Escrow Account is partially funded at closing and the home buyer makes on-going contributions through their monthly mortgage payment.

Now you know more about being in escrow. And, you can be a more confident home buyer and future homeowner.

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