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Who does what?

One of the benefits of the escrow process is that it clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the parties to a real estate transaction: the buyer, the seller, the lender and the escrow holder.

The Buyer
  • Executes all escrow instructions.
  • Approves any inspection reports, preliminary report of title, etc. as called for in the Purchase Agreement or escrow instructions.
  • Executes any Deed of Trust necessary to secure the loan(s) on the property.
  • Deposits funds for the down payment, plus funds required to pay costs and causes any borrowed money to be deposited with escrow holder to complete the purchase price.
The Seller
  • Executes all escrow instructions.
  • Deposits the executed deed to the buyer with escrow holder.
  • Deposits or causes to be deposited other documents as required by the Purchase Agreement or the escrow instructions. This may include, but not necessarily limited to, all documents to transfer and/or clear title to the buyer, evidence of termite inspection with the Notice of Completion, home warranty contract, city requirements (if any) and Federal and/or State requirements.
The Lender
  • Approves buyer and prepares loan documents for execution by the buyer.
  • Deposits proceeds of the buyer’s loan with escrow holder.
  • Directs the escrow holder of the conditions under which the loan funds may be used.
The Escrow Holder
  • Receives a copy of the Purchase Agreement from the real estate agent or takes the contract verbally from the parties.
  • Prepares escrow instructions, deeds and any other documentation required based on the agreement between the two parties.
  • Opens the order for title insurance.
  • Obtains demands on existing liens of record.
  • Obtains buyer’s approval on the preliminary report of title and termite completion as called for in the Purchase Agreement and escrow instructions.
  • Obtains approval from the respective party on any disbursements made through escrow such as payoffs to the existing lenders, termite inspections/completion, home warranty and any other invoices presented to escrow holder.
  • Receives executed escrow instructions from all parties.
  • Prepares Estimated Settlement Statement for the respective parties which shall specify amounts for escrow services, title insurance fees, real estate commissions, payoff of existing deeds of trusts, lien clearances, termite report, home warranty and any other items required to clear title and in accordance with the Purchase Agreement and escrow instructions.
  • Receives funds from the buyer and/or lender.
  • Receives the deed (and money, if applicable) from the seller.
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