Escrow Self Help

Your full real estate purchase agreement and/or mortgage loan documents, along with any necessary deposits, have been sent to escrow…now what?

First, and most importantly, is that any principal party (buyer, seller, borrower, real estate or mortgage professional) in any transaction has the responsibility of understanding all escrow instructions.

Any non professional, such as a buyer or borrower, should not hesitate to ask the escrow officer or company representative about any aspect of the escrow instructions that they don’t understand, this holds true for professionals as well.

Secondly, the escrow process will not be completed in a day. Escrow is a process that has certain legal requirements to be completed before finalization; therefore the best approach to take is to help expedite the process by responding quickly to any request or correspondence from the escrow provider. Have a clear understanding of what is needed and provide it in a timely manner.

Any questions asked of the escrow officer should pertain to escrow or the escrow instructions only. The escrow officer cannot give advise as to whether you got the best interest rate on the loan, or paid the lowest points, or got the best price on the home. The escrow officer is there to follow the instructions given by the principal parties in the escrow.
If any additional funds are needed relative to escrow, be sure to understand what they are for and provide them in the form that the escrow company requests. By example: if the escrow officer asks for a cashiers check, don’t write a personal check, which would only cause further delay while the funds cleared.

If you have any special need at the time of final closing, such as copies of documents etc., be sure to make that request in advance. Processing such a request can take days, so ask in advance.

Always remember that the escrow provider wants this process to close just as quickly as you, but they have a legal obligation to be sure that it is done correctly and legally.

Kevin Hartmann