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What Exactly Is Escrow?

So, what is escrow, exactly?

Escrow is an arrangement in which a neutral third party holds onto funds and key documents involved in a home sale, and then distributes them according to the agreement between the buyers and sellers. The escrow period begins when a seller accepts a buyer's offer, and ends at the closing table.  At RE/MAX, we perform Escrow in house rather than hiring a 3rd party.

 

Have your earnest deposit money in an easily accessible account when home shopping. This will enable you to move fast on an offer if you find your perfect place.

 

Purchasing a house isn't like buying shoes; there's a lot of money involved, a lot of steps to manage, and a lot at stake. So the buyers and sellers don't exchange money and documents directly with one another. They do it through the escrow account.

Escrow ensures accountability. Buyers want to be sure all contingencies are met (inspection, title report, secured mortgage, etc.) before the sellers cash any checks. Sellers want to make sure they receive funds before they hand over the deed.

What happens during escrow?

An escrow account opens up when buyers put down earnest money to show the sellers that they’re serious about buying the home. A RE/MAX Settlement/closing agent handles all the escrow work with help from the agents.

An escrow officer, or settlement agent, does the following:


• Holds funds and documents.
• Processes and facilitates the flow of documents and funds.
• Keeps all parties informed of progress.
• Responds to the lender's requirements.
• Secures a title insurance policy (if necessary).
• Obtains approval of reports and documents from all parties.
• Prorates and adjusts insurance, taxes, rents, fees, etc.
• Records the deed and loan documents.
• Keeps track of and holds onto money owed and money deposited.


 

Escrow closes when all the tasks, documents and funds are performed or secured by the escrow officer.

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Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent in The

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent

The "Real" Estate Blog

I hear this one all the time from prospects looking to list their house. "Well, agent xyz told us that if we listed with her, she'd have it sold in a week." This would fall into the category of "If it sounds too good to be true, the probably is." The majority of agents are not going to make this claim, but rather will give you an honest market analysis, inform you as to how weak or strong the market is, especially the market in which your home resides, and present the objective facts. A good agent will then lay out an effective marketing plan, where the majority of the focus should be on "online marketing". Be careful to not get caught up in empty promises, reduced commissions, and being talked in to lowering your price below market value (unless you must have a quick sale). The key to choosing a good listing agent is to objectively determine who is going to provide you the best opportunity to sell your home. Will your listing agent also aggressively work to find buyers, or will they just list your home and wait for another agent to do the work.

Buyer and seller real estate app, right at your fingertips. in The

Buyer and seller real estate app, right at your fingertips.

The "Real" Estate Blog

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The Family Diner in Spirit Lake

The Family Diner

Spirit Lake

The Family Diner is Spirit Lake, IA is a local favorite! They offer up a large portion for small money, but whether you come early or late you may be in for a wait. With homemade bread and the largest sausage patty you have seen, The Family Diner is consistently delicious. They are open only for breakfast and lunch and closed two days a week. In my former career at Stylecraft, the family diner was definately a favorite when our friends would visit from North Carolina. They were always inpressed with the bread and rolls and corn beef hash.

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