Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Explain What An Escrow Is?

The buyer and seller conduct business with each other through a neutral intermediary, your escrow company. Mutual written instructions by both parties are carried out by the escrow holder to exchange property and funds.

When Do I Open An Escrow?

As soon as you and your other party are in complete agreement, a mutually selected escrow officer should be called. Consider the professional advice of your real estate agent.

What Does The Escrow Officer Need From Me?

Along with the terms of the sale the following are a list of items that are most helpful to expedite your transaction.


  1. Recent existing lender statement(s).
  2. Current Home Owner Association documents.
  3. Recent structural pest control report (if required).


  1. Complete names & vesting
    (seek tax advice as to consequences of how you take title).
  2. Initial deposit check.
  3. Terms of financing and new lenders name.
  4. Insurance agent informationTOP

The Escrow Officer Does:

Prepare instructions and specific documents. Order all necessary payoff or assignment statements, homeowner association statements and title search. Secure releases of existing liens of record and disburses documents in accordance with mutual written instructions. Prepare all final statements for principals, accounting as to the disposition of all funds deposited with the escrow officer. Provide you with the assistance to close your transaction quickly and effectively. Escrow officers are trained, experienced professionals.

The Escrow Officer Does Not:

Act as a negotiator for the transaction or any terms thereof. Offer legal and or tax advice. Offer investment advice.

What Advice Can I Get From The Escrow Officer?

Remember, an escrow officer cannot give legal advice. The purpose of escrow is to carry out the mutual instructions of the buyer and seller. If there are any disagreements between the principals, the escrow officer remains neutral until an agreement is negotiated. The escrow officer does not become involved in the negotiations.

Who Pays The Fees & Costs?

The charges of a transaction are dependent on the type and complexity of your transaction and the terms of your agreement. Both your professional real estate agent and your escrow holder can help you determine those costs. The seller typically pays for those costs involved in assuring the buyer a clear title and the buyer typically pays for any costs involved in the financing. The escrow fees are normally paid one half each. There are exceptions to the rules, so be sure to consult your professionals for help.

Who Can Answer My Questions?

Your primary consultant should be your real estate agent / broker if the negotiations have been conducted through them. The escrow officer will often refer you to the real estate agent/broker, legal counsel, or quite possibly a tax advisor.

What Happens If The Transaction Cancels?

A cancellation agreement must be reached between the parties with mutual written instructions calling, with live signatures, for the disposition of any funds and/or documents. Payment of any charges incurred should be considered including fees and costs incurred by the lender, homeowners association, title company and escrow holder. If the parties cannot agree, a court order may be needed.TOP

What Happens At Closing?

The closing can take place when all instructions have been complied with. After all funds have been collected and costs paid, the property title can be transferred. This transfer of title is called the "recording". Recorded documents and title policies will be mailed to you after closing.

Quick Tips


Linda, just wanted to say THANK YOU for all your professionalism and help in getting this escrow closed in a timely manner. The sellers were very pleased with your work....

- Gil Rivera, Broker