First, a little about "escrow". To finish the sale of a property, a neutral, third party (the escrow company) is engaged to assure the process will close properly and on time. A house is said to be in escrow when in the closing transaction, funds is secured by a third party on behalf of two parties when the transaction is taking place. For example, in an Internet purchase, PayPal is the neutral third party that holds the buyer's money, and then sends the payment to the seller.
The escrow agent insures that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's negotiated agreement are met prior to the sale being completed. This includes receiving monies and certificates, completing required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that are to be paid off with the transaction, assuring you have a clean title to your house before the asking price is fully paid.
Escrow agents look for the following records:
- Requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds
- Loan documents
- Tax statements
- Fire and other insurance policies
- Title insurance policies
- Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing
You're ready to close when each step of the complete in escrow process. All debts and fees are collected and paid at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). The house's title goes to you and title insurance is issued per the policies of your individual escrow process.
At the close of escrow, payments of funds are made in an acceptable form to the escrow. I'll keep you up-to-date on the next steps.