Let's talk about "escrow". A neutral, third party (known as the escrow holder or the escrow agent) is hired to assure your home closes on time and the closing process 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 online auction, PayPal is the secure third party that obtains the buyer's cash, and then hands over the payment to the seller.
The escrow agent insures that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's contract are reached prior to the sale being completed. This includes receiving funds and documents, signing required forms, and getting the release documents for any loans or liens that have been paid off with the transaction, assuring you have a free title to your place before the asking price is fully paid.
The certificates the escrow holder may collect include:
- 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
- Fire and other insurance policies
You're ready to close when all parts are done in escrow process. All expenses like title insurance, inspections and real estate commissions are paid. You'll then secure the title to the property and the title insurance gets issued as agreed upon in the escrow instructions.
At the close of escrow, payment of funds shall be made in an acceptable form to the escrow. As your real estate professional, I'll let you know what is an acceptable way of paying.