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Lenders title insurance policy
One-half of the sub-escrow fee (split between buyer and seller)
Buyers escrow fee and processing
Document preparation (if applicable)
Email Loan Document fee
Notary fees (if applicable)
Recording charges for all documents in buyers name
Tax proration (for any taxes unpaid at the closing)
Homeowners transfer fee (negotiable in contract)
Any new loan changes
Interest on new loan
Home Warranty (negotiable in contract)
City transfer tax (negotiable in contract)
Fire insurance premium for first year
Next month HOA dues
Purchasing a new home is usually the most significant investment an individual will ever make. And whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you have purchased multiple properties before, the process never seems to be crystal clear and simple to understand.
Because there are so many risks associated with it, money should never change hands between a buyer and a seller in a real estate transaction. This is where escrow comes in.
In most cases, the exchange of money during a sale is contingent upon terms having been met in the sales contract. This generally involves one or both of the parties, so money is held in an escrow account until all contingencies have been satisfied. It is a safeguard to ensure that both parties uphold their ends of the bargain, so to speak.
Once the contract terms are 100% agreed upon, escrow will pay out the funds to the home seller from the escrow account. Escrow also acts in good faith on behalf of both the buyer and seller to ensure that the contract terms are met, and also that the buyer has the appropriate funds to close on the property. Escrow is the process of keeping that money safe until the final exchange of monies occurs.
The escrow company acts as an unbiased, third-party throughout the transaction for all involved parties, which is why the escrow agent is often considered a trustee. You may have heard the terms “escrow” and “trust” used interchangeably, but they actually are not the same at all.
Your escrow agent is impartial and works independently from both the buyer, seller, and the involved real estate agents. Simply put, they are a bank of sorts, acting as a conduit to ensure that money, documents, and all other aspects of the sales contract are satisfied before closing.
In a real estate transaction, the escrow agent acts as a fiduciary for both the buyer and the seller, and the scope of the relationship is somewhat limited. By comparison, an agent’s role in a trust is much more flexible and broad. They are usually tasked with taking care of the assets in order to benefit the beneficiary above anything else.
Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted, and you’re ready to open escrow.
So, now what? Here are easy to understand milestones to help prepare you for the next 30–45 days.
Buyer and seller have agreed to terms and have signed a contract. Buyer’s deposit money will go into escrow.
This is paperwork for you to complete, sign, and send back to escrow. Requires information like your social security number, insurance information and vesting information (How your name will show up on the deed? Are you sharing title with someone else?).
Inspections happen. It’s important they take place as intended so you are buying what you agreed upon with the seller.
This will be more paperwork with your lender.
May take place at this time. Escrow will send you more paperwork to sign, if needed.
Review all fees and costs of closing.
Escrow arranges for buyer to sign with a notary. Buyer deposits final funds. Escrow works with buyer’s lender to fund the file, meeting any of their remaining conditions. Lender funds and Escrow sets the file to record.