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First-Time Home Buying: Closing

Escrow: An escrow holder is used to assure your property closes on time and the closing process goes smoothly. A house is said to be in escrow when in the closing process, funds is held by a third party on behalf of a buyer and a seller when the exchange of money takes place. For example, in an Internet transaction, PayPal is the reliable third party that obtains the buyer's money, and then sends the funds to the seller.

The escrow company insures that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's negotiated agreement are reached prior to the sale being finalized. This includes getting monies and certificates, completing required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that were paid with the transaction, assuring you have a clear title to your property before the agreed upon price is fully paid.

These are the documents that escrow companies usually look to collect:

    Upon finishing of all instructions of the escrow, closing can take place. All payments owed and fees are taken and paid off at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). You'll then get the title to the home and the title insurance gets dispersed as outlined in the escrow instructions.

    When closing is finished, you'll make a payment to the escrow holder. I'll keep you up-to-date on the next steps.

    The Escrow Holder Will:

    • Assemble escrow guidelines
    • Perform a title inquiry
    • Comply with the bank's guidelines as written in the escrow agreement
    • Intake payments from the buyer
    • Prorate interest, insurance, tax and other payments according to instructions
    • Record deeds and other documents as instructed
    • Request title insurance policy
    • Close escrow when all terms of agreement of seller and buyer are complete
    • Disburse funds and finish instructions

    The Escrow Holder Will Not:

    • Advise you - the escrow holder must maintain a neutral, third-party status
    • Offer opinions about future tax estimations
    The Escrow Holder Will:
    The Escrow Holder Won't:
    • Write escrow guidelines
    • Petition title search
    • Meet lender's standards as outlined in the escrow agreement
    • Accept payments from the buyer
    • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to guidelines
    • Record deeds and other legal documents as instructed
    • Obtain title insurance policy
    • Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer are complete
    • Disburse payments and finish instructions
    • Offer advice - the escrow company has to remain an impartial, third-party status
    • Offer opinions about future tax estimations

    Mortgage Escrow Account

    A Mortgage Escrow Account is started to make payments for recurring fees while there is a loan on the house. Usually, the home buyer makes a payment at closing and also makes regular deposits through their monthly mortgage payment to fund the Escrow Account.

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

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