Escrow Made Easy

You have made the decision to buy or sell your home and, let's face it; the process is often confusing and a little overwhelming.

Often, you find yourself giving blind trust to your broker, escrow officer, lender and all the other providers of services throughout the transaction, but it doesn't have to be that way! It is the responsibility of each of these service providers to answer any questions you might have in order to help you understand this sometimes complex process you are going through. You will feel better if you are an educated participant. Ambergate Escrow, Inc. prides itself on providing a personable, client friendly atmosphere to assist you through this process.

When a buyer and seller have come to mutually agreeable terms, it is time to open escrow; the process by which ownership of a property is transferred from one party to the other.

Very simply, the escrow company facilitates the sale of property by receiving, holding, and transferring funds, deeds, and other legal papers in accordance with agreements made between buyers and sellers.

As neutral third parties in property sales, escrow officers help safeguard the interests of both seller and buyer. They review title search and pest inspection reports, insurance policies, and check for liens, unpaid taxes, and other encumbrances. Independent escrow companies, like Ambergate Escrow, are licensed by the California government agency of the Department of Corporations and don’t work for the same company as the real estate agent.

Whether you are the buyer, seller, lender or borrower, you want the assurance that no funds or property will change hands until ALL of the instructions in the transaction have been followed. The escrow holder has the obligation to safeguard the funds and/or documents while they are in the possession of the escrow holder, and to disburse funds and/or convey title only when ALL provisions of the escrow have been complied with.

Each escrow is different and the escrow officer will work to meet all the requirements of your escrow. The escrow officer follows instructions from the buyers’ lender to make sure conditions are met to complete the loan. Ambergate Escrow also offers loan signing and notary services. Once the loan is funded and all parties have wired or brought in the money needed to close, the transaction is set up to record. When the escrow company recieves confirmation from the title company that the new Grant Deed is recorded, your escrow is “closed.”

Escrow officers account all expenses and credits for buyers and sellers and calculate the amount owed to each and send closing statements to sellers and buyers.

What can you do to make sure things run smoothly? Here are some tips that every buyer and seller should know in preparing for a trouble-free escrow process.

1. Choose an Independent Provider

You have a choice. Remember only independent escrow providers, like Ambergate Escrow, are licensed by the California Department of Corporations are 100% neutral third parties. Their only concern is to monitor the real estate transaction and safeguard trust account funds.

2. Be Responsive

The escrow officer may periodically contact you requesting pertinent information. They will also send you paper work to be filled out. Get them the information they need as soon as you can. Remember nothing happens until the escrow is closed.

4. Remove Contingencies

Make sure you have completed all walk-throughs, inspections and other contingencies such as termite inspections and any required city permits.

5. Insurance

BUYERS: apply for homeowner insurance coverage right away; don’t wait until the last minute. (If you are purchasing a condominium, this is not necessary.)

6. No Big Purchases

BUYERS: do not incur additional debt; change your employment status during the escrow process, etc. Your credit and employment may be verified by the lender again as late as the day before closing.

7. Closing Funds

All closing funds must clear the escrow trust account before the escrow can close (wire transfers usually clear within 2-6 hours of origination, California cashier’s checks usually clear 24-48 hours after deposit.)

The Seller is the party that traditionally chooses the escrow company but the buyer can also request a company in their purchase offer. Often the Real Estate Agents will help with that decision. Be an educated participant and ask for an independent escrow company, one with experience, a helpful attitude and competitive rates, such as Ambergate Escrow, Inc. 951-683-2602.