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First, a little about "escrow". A neutral, third party (known as the escrow holder or the escrow agent) is used to assure your home closes on time and the process goes smoothly. Escrow companies hold money for "safe-keeping" in an exchange between a buyer and seller. An everyday way to understand the concept of what an escrow company does is to think of the use of PayPal for Internet purchases.

The escrow company makes sure that the terms and conditions of the agreement between the two parties are met in preparation of the sale being finished.

These are the pieces of paperwork that escrow companies usually look to collect:

  • Loan 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

You're ready to close when every step is finished in escrow process. At this time, all payments and dues for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are taken. Title to the house is then transferred to you as buyer and appropriate title insurance is issued as noted in the escrow instructions.

At the close of escrow, payments of funds are made in an acceptable form to the escrow. I'll keep you informed on what comes next.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Assemble escrow guidelines
  • Request title research
  • Meet lender's guidelines as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Receive payments 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 met
  • Disburse payments and finish instructions

The Escrow Holder Won't:

  • Give advice - the escrow company has to remain an impartial, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about the outcome of your taxes
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Write escrow guidelines
  • Request title research
  • Meet lender's standards as noted in the escrow agreement
  • Intake funds from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to guidelines
  • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
  • Request title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer have been finished
  • Disburse monies and finalize instructions
  • Advise you - the escrow holder must stay at a fair, third-party status
  • Give insight 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. Usually, the home buyer makes a payment at closing and also makes regular deposits through their monthly mortgage payment to fund the Escrow Account.

Once you have the rules of the escrow process down, you can be a confident buyer.

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