Escrow-What is it?
An escrow is a deposit of funds, a deed or other instruments by one party for the delivery to another party upon the completion of a particular condition or event.
Why do I need an escrow?
Whether you are the buyer, seller, lender or borrower, you want the assurance that no funds or property will change hands until ALL of the terms and conditions of the transaction have been followed. The escrow holder has the obligation to safeguard the funds and/or documents while they are in our possession, and to disburse funds and/or convey title only when all provisions of the escrow have been completed.
Escrow-How does it work?
The principals to the escrow-buyer seller, lender, borrower-cause escrow instructions, most usually in writing, to be created, signed and delivered to the escrow officer. If a broker is involved, he will normally provide the escrow officer with the information necessary for the preparation of your escrow instructions and documents.
The escrow officer will process the escrow, in accordance with the escrow instructions, and when all conditions required in the escrow can be met, the escrow will be "closed". Each escrow transaction, although following a similar pattern, will be different in some respects.
The duties of an escrow holder include: following the instructions given by the principals and parties to the transaction in a timely manner; handling the funds and/or documents in accordance with instructions; paying all bills as authorized requests from the principals; closing the escrow only when all terms and conditions have been met; disbursing the funds in accordance with the instructions, and providing and accounting for same with form of a closing or settlement statement.
What do I have to do while in escrow?
The key to any transaction as important as your sale, purchase or loan, is "COMMUNICATION, READ" and understand your escrow instructions. If you do not understand them, you should ask your escrow officer to explain your instructions. If one of the conditions of your escrow transaction is omitted, "tell your escrow officer".
An escrow officer is not an attorney and cannot practice law; you should consult your legal counsel for legal advice. The escrow officer is there to follow the instructions given by the principals in the escrow.
In order to expedite the closing of the escrow, you should check with your escrow officer as to what specifically you could do to assist. Ask the question-What can I do to expedite the closing of this escrow?
Respond quickly to correspondence. This will assist in a timely closing of your transaction.