Explaining Escrow- What It’s All About and What You Need To Know

Understanding the closing escrow process...... It's a fire drill!

So how does one explain what an Escrow is and why we need it?  And how does it compare to closing procedures in other parts of the US?  Is it used in Palm Springs?

Well its simple.  Escrow is nothing more than having a neutral third-party who has the job of intermediary in a real estate transaction. Basically an Escrow officer will dot the I’s, cross the T’s and handle the money exchange (loan funding too) and recording with the County Assessor’s office.

In other parts of the country, Title Companies, Lawyers, and Notaries handle closings.  Here is Southern California, its done with an Escrow Company whose sole job is to handle only Escrow.

They duties include but are not limited to:

  • Order HOA docs
  • Order the Preliminary Title Report
  • Determine closing costs for each party and prepares the preliminary and final HUD report
  • Draw up the Escrow Instructions or in other words, they take the signed agreement between buyer and seller and put that into a new legal format used by all parties and for recording to the County.
  • Send out for signing and receive back all contractual and transaction related documents.
  • Answer buyer questions about title and vesting
  • And a good escrow company will also help ensure the deal keeps moving forward to meet the closing date.  Our partner company Sunset Escrow is good at ensuring we all get the job done on time.
Key to this process is communication and on a regular basis.  If your Escrow officer requests information or signatures, quick response is important and goes a long way to ensure a timely close.

What do I do to prepare for Escrow?

There are several pieces of information that you must to supply to your escrow officer. Often times, when a real estate broker is involved, he or she might assist you with communicating that information to the escrow officer. Other real estate brokers depend on the escrow officer and client to work directly on these items together.

The following is a brief list of items that you must provide and/or deliver to your escrow officer:

  1.  Correct spelling of your name and up-to-date contact information
  2.  Contact information for lender (and/or mortgage broker) if new financing is being obtained
  3. Mortgage loan account information (lender or loan servicer’s name, address, and account number) if you are selling or refinancing a piece of property; plus any other tax, mortgage, bond or other lien information
  4. Fire insurance policy information
  5. Title vesting choice  (Escrow can help on this but you may need to contact a legal pro or financial advisor)
  6. Copies of Trust Documents if taking title in trust or selling from a Trust
  7. Homeowner Association (HOA) and management contact information; copies of HOA documents if held by owner. Any relevant corporate, partnership or LLC documents if taking title in the name of one of those entities, or selling from one of those entities
And there's more HERE, a lot more information a consumer can learn about the details of the process.  One does not need to learn every aspect concerning Escrow and the process, but having basic knowledge is a good thing.  And have an agent that understands the process is important too.  We at Ron Jesser & Palm Springs Realtors have completed enough transactions over the years to give us a thorough understanding of how things work. We too will review the Escrow Instructions for accuracy and advise of any errors.  Its part of our job too.

Want more information about the Desert Cities ?

Buying or Selling Palm Springs Real Estate?

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The market for real estate in the desert is alive and the values are exceptional especially for those who are looking for an ideal investment or a vacation/retirement property. We have many Palm Springs real estate properties available for every need, budget and amenity list.

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