What’s the Role of an Escrow Agent

Sep 29, 2017

Whether you’re on the buying or selling side of a property, congratulations are in order. This big decision will also land you at a big table where you’ll meet among others: an escrow – or closing – agent. This agent plays an important “third party” role in the complicated transaction of handing over the property from one person/entity to another. It involves lots and lots of legal paperwork.

According to dictionary.com, escrow is a contract, deed, bond or other written agreement with a third person who is responsible for “delivering” to another party once the required circumstances are fulfilled or completed. The agent is the person handling this process and he or she is a benefit to both buyer and seller. The person’s neutrality allows for a complete and legal transaction to occur. The agent makes sure the agreement and escrow terms are what they should be and also understands and takes the legal efforts required for a smooth transaction.

Who chooses an agent?

There are two possible answers – a broker or you. Here’s what we mean. Many times a broker chooses an agent as part of the closing process. It could be someone new or someone they routinely use in closings. However, let’s say you know a particular agent or trust a specific title company. Then it’s perfectly fine for you to do the selecting.

Where do you find an escrow agent?

An officer from a title company (like Beaches Title!) is qualified and attorneys can also perform this role as well.

The Details

The agent makes sure the buyer’s escrow account is accurate. He or she also makes sure that funds obtained by the buyer’s lender are disbursed. This allows the buy-sell contract to be fulfilled. The agent makes sure no property changes ownership until all the required transaction steps are completed. The escrow funds are “safeguarded” as well as other related documents until the time arrives for property title transfer occurs.