Escrow From a Homeowner's Perspective

The Escrow Process

Both Buyer and Seller deserve the assurance that no funds or property will change hands until all of the instructions in the Purchase Contract have been satisfied. The Realtor submits Buyers and Sellers signed documents and Buyer's deposit money to be held by an independent neutral third party (Escrow). After the conditions agreed upon by both Buyer and Seller (in the Purchase Contract) are satisfied, Escrow then distributes the documents and the funds.

The escrow holder is an independent neutral third party; works for both the Buyer and the Seller, and is authorized to follow the specific written instructions provided by both parties. Escrow functions:

Receives and deposits (into escrow's account) Buyer's initial deposit and preparations escrow package. Requests "claims" (pay-off statements) from existing lenders and / or lienholders. Obtains Seller's notarized signature on grant deed. Safeguards grant done until all terms and conditions are met and Buyer's remaining certified funds are on deposit. Orders title search and receives and shares preliminary title report. Calculates prorations relating to property taxes, rents, insurance, interest, and other expenses as required.

Coordinates with Buyer's lender through the escrow process. Orders and processes Buyer's loan documents. Coordinates Buyer's signing of loan documents and their return to Buyer's lender. Receives Buyer's final down payment funds and coordinates funding with Buyer's lender.

Orders recording of grant deed conveying title to Buyer and shares all funds: pays-off existing loans; pays other required costs, such as termite completion, home protection policy; etc. Releases net proceeds to Seller.

Simultaneously, the Buyer and the Buyer's lender are engaged with the loan approval process. Lender duties:

Orders a credit report and other credit documentation as required (mortgage ratings, landlords ratings). Reviews the Buyer's credit and when necessary obtains satisfactory statements from the Buyer regarding any negative credit history. Verifies the Buyer's sources of income. Verifies that the Buyer has adequate liquid funds for down payment, closing costs, and reserves. Requests an appraisal of the property, and verifies that the property's value is equal to the contract sales price.

Submits the loan to for final approval.

Coordinates delivery of the Buyer's loan documents to the escrow officer.
And in the meantime … While the escrow officer, lender, and Buyer are diligently working, the Seller and the Listing Agent also have responsibilities:

Numerous disclosures required by law need to be made by the Seller and the Listing Agent and provided to the buyer.

Provide escrow officer information on existing loans to check against title search finds.

Make the home available for physical inspection and other trades people as required by the purchase contract, such as licensed Termite Company and lender's appraiser.

Make any repairs agreed upon in purchase contract, or as required by local ordinance (water heater strapping, smoke detectors, etc.).

In order for your escrow to proceed smoothly, your Realtor's job is to coordinate and exceed the above chain of events. Similar to dominos – each event must occur in a timely fashion. You need an experienced Realtor because delays in any of these events may result in the postponement of escrow's scheduled closing date.

The Escrow Process

Both Buyer and Seller deserve the assurance that no funds or property will change hands until all of the instructions in the Purchase Contract have been satisfied. The Realtor submits Buyers and Sellers signed documents and Buyer's deposit money to be held by an independent neutral third party (Escrow). After the conditions agreed upon by both Buyer and Seller (in the Purchase Contract) are satisfied, Escrow then distributes the documents and the funds.

The escrow holder is an independent neutral third party; works for both the Buyer and the Seller, and is authorized to follow the specific written instructions provided by both parties. Escrow functions:

Receives and deposits (into escrow's account) Buyer's initial deposit and preparations escrow package. Requests "claims" (pay-off statements) from existing lenders and / or lienholders. Obtains Seller's notarized signature on grant deed. Safeguards grant done until all terms and conditions are met and Buyer's remaining certified funds are on deposit. Orders title search and receives and shares preliminary title report. Calculates prorations relating to property taxes, rents, insurance, interest, and other expenses as required.

Coordinates with Buyer's lender through the escrow process. Orders and processes Buyer's loan documents. Coordinates Buyer's signing of loan documents and their return to Buyer's lender. Receives Buyer's final down payment funds and coordinates funding with Buyer's lender.

Orders recording of grant deed conveying title to Buyer and shares all funds: pays-off existing loans; pays other required costs, such as termite completion, home protection policy; etc. Releases net proceeds to Seller.

Simultaneously, the Buyer and the Buyer's lender are engaged with the loan approval process. Lender duties:

Orders a credit report and other credit documentation as required (mortgage ratings, landlords ratings). Reviews the Buyer's credit and when necessary obtains satisfactory statements from the Buyer regarding any negative credit history. Verifies the Buyer's sources of income. Verifies that the Buyer has adequate liquid funds for down payment, closing costs, and reserves. Requests an appraisal of the property, and verifies that the property's value is equal to the contract sales price.
Submits the loan to for final approval.

Coordinates delivery of the Buyer's loan documents to the escrow officer.
And in the meantime … While the escrow officer, lender, and Buyer are diligently working, the Seller and the Listing Agent also have responsibilities:

Numerous disclosures required by law need to be made by the Seller and the Listing Agent and provided to the buyer.

Provide escrow officer information on existing loans to check against title search finds.

Make the home available for physical inspection and other trades people as required by the purchase contract, such as licensed Termite Company and lender's appraiser.

Make any repairs agreed upon in purchase contract, or as required by local ordinance (water heater strapping, smoke detectors, etc.).

In order for your escrow to proceed smoothly, your Realtor's job is to coordinate and exceed the above chain of events. Similar to dominos – each event must occur in a timely fashion. You need an experienced Realtor because delays in any of these events may result in the postponement of escrow's scheduled closing date.

Source by Phyllis Harb

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