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First, a little about "escrow". When you're closing on your new house, an escrow holder is used to insure the transaction will close correctly and in a certain amount of time. When funds are held by a third party in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, it's in escrow. An everyday way to understand what an escrow company does is to think of how you might use PayPal for online purchases.

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

Escrow agents need to acquire the following documents:

  • 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

Closing on the home happens when all the steps of the escrow are done. At this time, all payments and fees for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are collected. You'll then receive the title to the property and the title insurance gets dispersed as noted in the escrow instructions.

At the close of escrow, payments are submitted in an acceptable form to the escrow. As your REALTOR, I'll let you know what is an acceptable way of paying.

The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Write escrow guidelines
  • Perform a title search
  • Comply with the bank's standards as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Receive funds from the buyer
  • Prorate tax, interest, insurance and other fees according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
  • Request title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer are complete
  • Disburse payments and finalize instructions
  • Advise you - the escrow company maintains an impartial, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about future tax estimations

Mortgage Escrow Account

Creating a Mortgage Escrow Account helps keep track of on-going expenses while there's a loan on your house. 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 outline of the escrow process. Your individual process may be unique based on your lender and your escrow company.

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