Let's talk about "escrow". To finalize the sale of a property, a neutral, third party (the escrow agent) is brought into the picture to assure the process will close correctly and on time. Escrow companies hold money for "safe-keeping" in an exchange between a buyer and seller. PayPal is a good way to picture an escrow company.
The escrow agent insures that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's agreement are met prior to the sale being completed. This includes securing payments and paperwork, signing required forms, and getting the release documents for any loans or liens that were cleared with the transaction, assuring you have a clear title to your home before the final price is fully paid.
The documents the escrow company may collect include:
- Tax statements
- Fire and other insurance policies
- Title insurance policies
- Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing
- Requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds
- Loan documents
Upon finishing of all portions of the escrow, closing can take place. At this time, all payments and dues for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are paid out. The house's title is given to you and title insurance is issued per the steps of your particular escrow agreement.
At the close of escrow, fees are paid in an acceptable form to the escrow. As your agent, I'll let you know what is an acceptable form of payment.