Resorts West Escrow, Inc.
A Full Service Escrow Company
Your Escrow and You
Prepared by the Escrow Institute of California,
P.O. Box 5792, Orange, CA 92613-5792
Escrow – What is it?
Very simply defined, an escrow is a deposit of funds, a deed or other
instrument by one party for the delivery to another party upon completion
of a particular condition or event. The California Escrow Law –
Section 17003 of the Financial Code – provides the legal definition.
Why Do I Need an Escrow? 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.
– How Does it Work? The principals to the escrow –
buyer, seller, lender, borrower – cause escrow instructions, most
usually in writing, to be created, signed and delivered to the escrow
officer. If a broker is involved, he will normally provide the escrow
officer with the information necessary for the preparation of your escrow
instructions and documents.The escrow officer will process the escrow,
in accordance with the escrow instructions, and when all conditions
required in the escrow can be met or achieved, the escrow will be "closed."
Each escrow, although following a similar pattern, will be different
in some respects, as it deals with your property and the transaction
at hand. The duties of an escrow holder include; following the instructions
given by the principals and parties to the transaction in a timely manner;
handling the funds and/or documents in accordance with the instruction;
paying all bills as authorized; responding to authorized requests from
the principals; closing the escrow only when all terms funds in accordance
with instructions and provide an accounting for same – the Closing
or Settlement Statement.
Chooses the Escrow? The selection of the escrow holder is normally
done by agreement between the principals. If a real estate broker is
involved in the transaction, the broker may recommend an escrow holder.
However, it is the right of the principals to use an escrow holder who
is competent and who is experienced in handling the type of escrow at
hand. There are laws that prohibit the payment of referral fees; this
affords the consumer the best possible escrow services without any compromise
caused by a person receiving a referral fee.
What Do I have to
do while in Escrow?
The key to any transaction as important as your sale, purchase or loan
is to read and understand your escrow instructions. If you do not understand
them, you should ask your escrow officer to explain the instructions.Your
escrow officer is not an attorney and cannot practice law; you should
consult your lawyer for legal advice. Do not expect your escrow officer
to advise you as to whether or not you have a "good deal"
or are doing things the right way. The escrow officer is there to follow
the instructions given by the principals in the escrow. In order to
expedite the closing of the escrow, you should check with your escrow
officer as to what specific items you could do to assist. Ask the question
– "What can I do to expedite the closing of this escrow?"
Respond quickly to correspondence. This will assist in the timely closing
of the transaction. If you are required to deliver funds into the escrow,
make sure that you provide "good" funds in the form required
by the escrow officer. Company procedures differ in this regard, and
there are many ways you can help at the time of closing; check with
your escrow officer. Do not give the escrow officer a personal check
and expect the escrow to close immediately; the escrow can only close
on cleared funds, and the processing of a personal check can take days,
possibly even a week or more.When the escrow officer closes the escrow,
some of you may want the closing papers, checks, title policies, statements,
etc. Made available immediately. There are many aspects to the closing
of the escrow, and some of these cannot be processed on the day of the
closing; they may take several days. If you have a special need, for
example, a cashier’s check on the day of closing, you should communicate
that need to the escrow officer early in the processing of the escrow