WHAT IS ESCROW?
An escrow is a deposit of funds, a deed or other instrument by one party for the delivery to another party upon completion of a particular condition or event. The escrow holder is an impartial third party who's responsibility it si to safeguard the funds and documents until the conditions are met and the parties to the escrow holder does not make decisions about the transaction, but rather only carries out instruction given by the principals in the transaction.
HOW DOES ESCROW WORK?
An escrow is normally opened by the real estate agent in a sale transaction and the lender in a refinance transaction. They will provide the escrow officer with the terms of the transaction and the information necessary for the preparation of the escrow to review.
The escrow officer will then request payoff statements and documents necessary to eliminate liens or encumbrances affecting the property. The escrow officer will also obtain bills to be paid in escrow as authorized by the parties and respond to various requests from the parties involved.
When the loan documents are delivered to escrow after your loan approval, the escrow officer will review the lender's instructions, order evidence of fire insurance and respond to other requirements of the lender.
The escrow instructions and documents will be prepared and the escrow officer will contact the parties to sign all the final documents and request the funds from the buyer. The loan documents will then be returned to the lender for their final approval.
When the escrow officer has determined that all the conditions of the escrow have been met, the loan funds will be requested from the lender. When the funds are received, the title company will record the grant deed and other necessary documents. At this moment, you own a new home! All funds held in escrow are then disbursed as instructed by the parties and final closing statements are prepared and sent to all the parties.
WHAT CAN'T ESCROW DO?
The escrow officer is not an attorney and cannot give you answers to legal questions. Your escrow officer cannot give you advice or negotiate terms of the transaction with other parties. The escrow officer is only to follow instructions given by the principals in the escrow.
WHAT CAN ESCROW DO?
Your escrow officer is available to you to answer questions about the Preliminary Title Report and the status of you escrow and to take instructions fro the processing of your transaction.
Your escrow officer works closely with your realtor and lender throughout the escrow process, so in most cases you may not even meet your escrow officer until the escrow instructions are to be signed. But we are there for you if you have questions and you are always welcome to call us.