Escrow. What does it mean and why is it necessary?
Well, escrow is necessary because it’s the unique process that ensures all real estate transactions between buyers and sellers are legitimate and smooth. Escrow is a neutral third party that acts as a “holding tank,” for all moneys until every term of the contract is met.
So, if the escrow officer is the “middle man,” to a large transaction between a buyer and a seller (who are otherwise strangers to each other) then who gets to pick the escrow officer? Typically, the real estate agent will have an escrow officer who they work with regularly whom will be referred. Otherwise, it is the seller’s choice to select an escrow officer since they are the property holders. However, if insisted upon, the buyer can suggest a specific escrow officer. If you choose this route know that this will alter the usual agreement and could potentially rock the boat.
Once you’ve found an escrow officer to utilize, there are a few facts that you’ll want to check before handing them your money. First, make sure they have a current license in your state. For example, if you’re buying a home in California, verify that your escrow officer is licensed with the California Department of Corporations of the California department of Insurance.
Secondly, all real estate professionals work nights; weekends etc. and are known for having very accommodating schedules. So make sure that your escrow officer is able to work when you need them. This is also true for methods of communication. If you prefer email and texts, Make sure they’re not leaving you voicemail after voicemail. Your home is at stake so make sure your communication methods are in sync.
Lastly, you want to make sure that your escrow officer is freakishly organized. Because they are often working on: multiple transactions in multiple locations, with often different processes and different deadlines, an escrow officer must be EXTREMELY organized.
With these tips your escrow experience should be a seamless transition. Happy House Hunting!
For more information about your escrow needs, visit: http://www.fivestarescrow.com/