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Escrow Officer

The escrow officer’s main duty is to remain as a neutral third party between buyer and seller throughout a real estate purchase and escrow transaction.  

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Receive and hold buyer’s funds in a non-interest bearing trust (IOTA) account during escrow
  • Read and fully comply with all agreements as detailed in the Purchase Contract and Joint Escrow Instructions as it pertains to the escrow process
  • Adhere to mutually signed, written instructions agreed upon by buyer and seller during escrow transaction
  • Obtain Escrow Instructions/General Provisions, Amendments, Grant Deed (for sellers’ signature(s)), closing disclosure and any additional documents required to clear title or as required by the new lender
  • The escrow officer will at times obtain Inspection Reports as required by the purchase contract, and/or in accordance with local law and ordinance, and provide same to the buyer during escrow for their review
  • Review for and require complete buyer and seller signatures/acknowledgements to Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions, Escrow Instructions/General Provisions, Grant Deed, any Amendments, Estimated Closing Statements and any other documents prior to the close of escrow
  • Receive loan documents from the buyer’s new lender (IF APPLICABLE) and prepare amendments and estimated closing statements as required by the lender on their lender’s instructions
  • Order the evidence of insurance from the buyer insurance agent as per the requirement of the new lender
  • Send the signed loan documents and all lender required items to the new lender for funding
  • Ensure the accuracy of and send original recordable documents along with any releases required to clear title for recording at the close of escrow
  • Make sure that escrow is in receipt of all funds necessary to pay the seller their proceeds as well as all invoices agreed upon by buyer and seller during escrow
  • Make sure the seller has sufficient proceeds to cover all costs, payoff of liens and any invoices agreed upon by buyer and seller during the escrow
  • Ensure that proper documents are in possession of escrow to provide the buyer with clear title to the property
  • Require that all conditions agreed upon by the buyer and seller on the purchase agreement and in writing through escrow have been fully satisfied and as well are acknowledged to be satisfied, in writing, prior to closing the escrow and transferring the property into the buyer’s name

 

Traits

  • Communication Skills: The ability to clearly communicate what is expected of all who are involved in an escrow transaction. Excellent communication skills ensure transparency and fluidity throughout the escrow process.
  • Experience: A good escrow agent will have developed an intuition and rhythm that makes for smooth transaction.
  • The ultimate facilitator: The ideal escrow officer possesses an expertise in facilitating and coordinating that goes beyond meeting basic customer needs.
  • Detail oriented and Accurate: An escrow agent must have a strong eye for detail and a meticulous nature. There is simply no room for error or careless mistakes. An escrow agent who is successful is someone who understands the gravity of the responsibility they are tasked with, and takes pride in fulfilling even small details. They are thorough in both their preparation and execution.
  • Equanimity: The ideal Escrow officer will carry themselves with great self-assurance, and will possess the ability to cast an air of stability.