Back to Table of Contents

The Functions of an Escrow

Buying or selling a home (or other piece of real property) usually involves the transfer of large sums of money. It is imperative that the transfer of these funds and related documents from one party to another be handled in a neutral, secure and knowledgeable manner. For the protection of buyer, seller and lender, the escrow process was developed.

As a buyer or seller, you want to be certain all conditions of sale have been met before property and money change hands. The technical definition of an escrow is a transaction where one party engaged in the sale, transfer or lease of real or personal property with another person delivers a written instrument, money or other items of value to a neutral third person, called an escrow agent or escrow holder. This third person holds the money or items for disbursement upon the happening of a specified event or the performance of a specified condition.

Simply stated, the escrow holder impartially carries out the written instructions given by the principals. This includes receiving funds and documents necessary to comply with those instructions, completing or obtaining required forms and handling final delivery of all items to the proper parties upon the successful completion of the escrow.

The escrow must be provided with the necessary information to close the transaction. This may include loan documents, tax statements, fire and other insurance policies, title insurance policies, terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing, and requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds.

If the transaction is dependent on arranging new financing, it is the buyer’s or the buyer’s agent’s responsibility to make the necessary arrangements. Documentation of the new loan agreement must be in the hands of the escrow holder before the transfer of property can take place. A real estate agent can help identify appropriate lending institutions.

When all the instructions in the escrow have been carried out, the closing can take place. At this time, all outstanding funds are collected and fees- such as title insurance premiums, real estate commissions, termite inspection charges- are paid. Title to the property is then transferred under the terms of the escrow instructions and appropriate title insurance is issued.

Payment of funds at the close of escrow should be in the form acceptable to the escrow, since out-of-town and personal checks can cause days of delay in processing the transaction.

The following items represent a typical list of what an escrow holder does and does not do:

THE ESCROW HOLDER:

  • serves as the neutral “stakeholder” and the communications link to all parties in the transaction;
  • prepares escrow instructions;
  • requests a preliminary title search to determine the present condition of title to the property;
  • requests a beneficiary’s statement if debt or obligation is to be taken over by the buyer;
  • complies with lender’s requirements, specified in the escrow agreement;
  • receives purchase funds from the buyer;
  • prepares or secures the deed or other documents related to escrow;
  • prorates taxes, interest, insurance and rents according to instructions;
  • secures releases of all contingencies or other conditions as imposed on any particular escrow;
  • records deeds and any other documents as instructed;
  • requests issuance of the title insurance policy;
  • closes escrow when all the instructions of buyer and seller have been carried out;
  • disburses funds as authorized by instructions, including charges for title insurance, recording fees, real estate commissions and loan payoffs;
  • prepares final statements for the parties accounting for the disposition of all funds deposited in escrow (these are useful in the preparation of tax returns).

THE ESCROW HOLDER DOES NOT:

  • offer legal advice;
  • negotiate the transaction;
  • offer investment advice.

Your local title company should be happy to provide additional information.

Article by CLTA

Back to Table of Contents
Nick Duzich
Hirschi Realtors
3631 Maplewood Ave., Ste. 1
Wichita Falls, TX 76308
Cell: 940-224-1224
Fax: 940-691-1213
Email:
NDuzich@HirschiRealtors.com
agent photo

Testimonials Page

We had such a great experience with Nick Duzich! We were very picky about finding the perfect house and he went above and beyond to make sure we found "The One" Thank you Nick for all your hard work. David & Lindsey Cadaoas, Wichita Falls, TX
Nick was most instrumental in selling my house. For every possible roadblock he was very resourcefull in helping me find a low cost and efficient way to overcome the difficulties. I would recommend Nick as an excellent agent to anyone wanting high quality services. I am greatful for all he did in selling my house Nancy Terry
Nick Duzich was very aggressive when it came to selling our house. We were in the process of being transferred to Corpus Christi and our family was split up. He knew this was a difficult time for us. Nick went above and beyond to make sure to market the house. We had lots of showings and he made sure it was advertised everywhere. It was non stop interest. We had to be on our toes with all the requests and showings. Nick did an amazing job and we were in contract within 3 weeks. Nick was always there for us and went above and beyond to help in any way he could. He is very professional and trustworthy. Nick treated our house with respect. He was very helpful and very easy to communicate with. Talking to him is like talking to a friend. You feel like you have known him for years. I would recommend Nick to anyone who is looking for a realtor who will come into your home and sit down with you and listen. He is definitely there for his clients and he will treat you like family. This was the easiest transition in all my house buying years.  The Wallanders, Wichita Falls, Texas
Nick was very intuitive to our needs. He made sure since we were moving from 6 hours away to get us in a neighborhood that would best fit with our needs. Nick is so easy to communicate with. His way of being friendly helped us communicate better with him. We would recommend him to anyone shopping for a home! Melissa Colclasure
We loved our experience with Nick and Hirschi. We love our new home and wouldn't have been able to go through everything as smoothly as we did with out him. He was friendly and easy to deal with. He is very personal and paid attention to the details we required in searching for our new home. He is a people person and cuts to the point, we trusted his opinion about how to handle the purchase. Thanks Nick! Brandi H.
View All