When I started my real estate career back in 1992, I worked in a very rural area in the Ozarks. There was an "old-timer" in the office that told many funny anecdotes about his rather colorful beginnings. He related the one about a buyer and seller coming to terms on a transaction, only to find the buyer was short of cash. As we know, the escrow deposit can be any "valuable consideration." So they decided the listing agent would take possession of a goat. During the term that it took the transaction to close, the agent would feed and care for the goat. The transaction went down the tubes, however, when the goat died. Obviously, the goat was now not worth the original price that had originally been given it and the deal died (along with the goat). I guess it puts teeth into the case against co-mingling funds.