Escrow 101

Being “held in escrow” has transformed into a frightening thought. However, the escrow process is beneficial to both the buyer and seller, as is not as daunting as it seems. It is a way to ensure both the buyer and seller are not cheated out of any money when buying and selling a home.

Escrow can be thought of as a safety deposit box. Neither the buyer nor the seller can access any of the money that is in escrow without the consent of both parties. Most frequently, the seller deposits money in the escrow account, about three percent of the home’s value, to show that they are serious about purchasing a home. This deposit is then put forth toward the down payment of the home after the sale is finalized.

Escrow can have many different meanings, depending on what it is being used to describe. The escrow process can take weeks to make sure that ownership is properly transferred to the buyer. The escrow agent can either be a person or a company, and is who facilitates the process. Closing of escrow can only happen after all of the proper documents are signed, recorded at the county office, and all the money for the payment of the home has been exchanged.

Either the buyer or seller can choose the escrow agent, depending on what is agreed upon in the offer. The buyer and seller can both negotiate who chooses the escrow agent, but it is important to make sure that both parties get the agreement in writing.

For all of your escrow needs in California, contact Brighton Escrow in Hermosa Beach, California. We can help assist you throughout the whole process to ensure that all of the money in the real estate process is properly handled.

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