Let's talk about "escrow". To finalize the sale of a place, a neutral, third party (the escrow agent) is engaged to assure the process will close perfectly and on time. Escrow holders hold money for "safe-keeping" in an exchange between a buyer and seller. For example, in a Web auction, PayPal is the secure third party that obtains the buyer's cash, and then sends the funds to the seller.
The escrow holder makes sure that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's agreement are reached prior to the sale being finalized. This includes getting payments and paperwork, filling out 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 home before the negotiated price is fully paid.
The documents the escrow company may collect include:
- Loan documents
- Tax statements
- Fire and other insurance policies
- Title insurance policies
- Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing
- Requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds
Upon completion of all portions of the escrow, closing can take place. At this time, all payments and fees for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are taken. The property's title gets transferred to you and title insurance is issued per the steps of your individual escrow process.
The escrow agent receives a payment at the completion of closing. As your real estate professional, I'll let you know what is an acceptable form of payment.