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What is Escrow?
Escrow is the process in which a neutral third party holds the funds, deed, and other necessary documents while the buyer and seller work out the details of a real estate transaction.
“Escrow” may sound complicated, but the idea is actually very simple. After a seller accepts a buyer’s offer, the property is placed into escrow. This is a safe place where a closing agent of the buyer and seller’s choice holds all of the important documents and funds until closing is complete. This is important because it protects both parties.
Escrow clients can expect the process to look like this:
1. An offer is accepted.
After a seller accepts a buyer’s offer, the property is placed into escrow, and Advantage Title partners to protect both the buyer and the seller. At this point in the real estate process, the purchase agreement is sent to the title company to begin their search and processing.
2. The closing agent ensures all requirements are met before closing.
This is where each side submits to the closing agent their requirements and requests that need addressed before the sale is completed (escrow instructions). If the seller needs an inspection or the buyer has a list of repairs they would like completed before purchase, these kinds of things are dealt with during this time.
3. The closing agent addresses fees and charges.
It wouldn’t be fair for the buyers to have to pay the sellers’ property taxes or their HOA fees from the time they resided in the property, so the closing agent will address these issues and make sure that all fees and charges are taken care of before closing.
4. It’s time to close!
At the closing appointment, the Advantage Title closing agent will be responsible for providing the closing statement. A closing statement, also called a settlement statement, includes details about the real estate transaction, including fees, commissions, homeowner’s insurance, mortgage insurance, and any other costs needed to close the sale.
During closing, the closing agent will also distribute the funds. Once the transaction is complete, the buyers become the owners!