What is Escrow?
Escrow is the process by which the interests of all parties in a real estate transaction are protected, ensuring that all conditions of the sale have been met before property and money change hands. Escrow is an independent depository wherein all funds, instructions, and documents for the purchase of your home are held, including your down payment, your lender’s funds, documents for the new loan, hazard and title insurance, inspection reports, and the grant deed from the seller. At the close of escrow, the “escrow holder” delivers these items to the appropriate parties, disburses the funds, and handles the associated paperwork.
What Does an Escrow Holder Do?
The Escrow Holder is a neutral third party, such as Chicago Title, that maintains the escrow account and impartially oversees the escrow process, making sure all conditions of the sale are properly met.
The Escrow Holder’s Duties Include:
• Serving as the neutral agent and the liaison between all parties involved.
• Requesting a preliminary title search to determine the status of title to the property.
• Requesting a beneficiary statement of debt or obligations are to be taken over by the buyer.
• Requesting a payoff demand from beneficiaries when the seller is paying off debts.
• Complying with the lender’s requirements as specified in its instructions to escrow.
• Securing releases of all contingencies or other conditions imposed on the escrow.
• Preparing or securing the deed and other documents related to escrow.
• Prorating taxes, interest, insurance, and rents.
• Preparing escrow instructions.
• Receiving purchase funds from the buyer.
• Receiving loan funds from buyer’s lender.
• Closing the escrow pursuant to instructions supplied by the seller, buyer and lender.
• Recording the deed and any other documents.
• Disbursing funds as authorized by the instructions, including charges for title insurance, recording fees, real estate commissions and loan payoffs.
• Preparing final statements for all parties involved that account for the disposition of all funds held in the escrow account.
• Requesting the title insurance policy.
The Escrow Process
Your escrow is created shortly after you execute the purchase agreement to sell your home. It cannot be successfully completed until all escrow instructions have been carried out and all parties have signed escrow documents. The length of escrow can range from a few days to several months, depending on the terms of the purchase agreement. On average, an escrow closes within 45 days.
Opening the Escrow
Either your Real Estate Agent or the buyer’s agent may open the escrow for you. As soon as you execute the sales agreement, the buyer’s Agent will place the initial deposit into an escrow account. At the opening of escrow, you may be asked to provide identification information such as your birth date and social security number. This information remains confidential.
‘He has been there anytime I needed him and I know if I need him again he would be there too. Brad gave 100% from the first time he called me till the sale was done.’
‘We really felt like Brad was on our side throughout the transaction and knew how to navigate the process calmly and effectively’
-Curt and Kim C
‘If you are skeptical on a realtor look no further. You will get what you want and when you want it with Brad. His knowledge on this market is second to none. The most unusual thing about this transaction is his exceptional follow up thru out the entire process, and even after we’ve moved in and got settled. He is one of a kind in this market and this profession’
-Scott & Allison T.
‘Thanks to Brad Brinkman and his team we now have a beautiful new home and a great investment into our future.’
-Ryan & Amanda F.
‘He found my house for me when others could not, in a location that I thought would be impossible. His aggressiveness has given me the opportunity to live in a fantastic place.’
-Trace H., Pilot Hawaiian Airlines., U.S. Navy Pilot
‘You made it easy for us to make this move into our new home because you took on all the worries, handling our transaction with skill and expertise. Specifically we were impressed with your approach to business, treating each and every customer as you treated us; as though we were your most important clients’
‘He made each transaction very smooth and it was great peace of mind knowing I could count on him.’