Whether it's your first property or your next place, I'll advise you through the process. Contact me and I'll make sure you're a smart buyer.

What is Escrow?

 Charise Michell, Estate Agent, Wish Sotheby’s International Realty, CalBRE#01425090 can walk you through closing - (818) 269-1966
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.

The Escrow Holder Will:

  • Assemble escrow guidelines
  • Petition title research
  • Comply with lender's requirements as outlined in the escrow agreement
  • Intake payments from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other paperwork 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:

  • Offer advice - the escrow agent stays at an impartial, third-party status
  • Give insight about future tax estimations
The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Assemble escrow instructions
  • Request title search
  • Comply with the bank's guidelines as noted in the escrow agreement
  • Intake funds from the buyer
  • Prorate interest, insurance, tax and other payments according to instructions
  • 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
  • Advise you - the escrow holder stays at an impartial, third-party status
  • Give insight about tax implications

Mortgage Escrow Account

A Mortgage Escrow Account is established to make payments for rolling expenses while there is a loan on the house. Though most home buyers make payments via their monthly mortgage payment, Escrow Accounts are deposited into at closing as well.

Once you have the basics of the escrow process down, you can be a more assured buyer.