An escrow agent is a neutral third party with fiduciary responsibilities in the transfer of property from one party to another. When real estate is bought and sold, the escrow agent will make sure that the terms of the purchase and sale agreement are met, holding the documents and funds until both parties have fully complied, and complete the closing of the transaction. Real estate agents, loan officers, brokers, and individuals in ‘for sale by owner’ deals rely on the escrow agent to insure that the transaction is closed as efficiently as possible.
Escrow Manager Brenda Conner is a Limited Practice Officer (LPO) certified by the Washington Supreme Court. Although not a lawyer, an LPO is authorized to select, prepare, and complete documents for use in closing a loan, extension of credit, sale, or other transfer of real or personal property. For more than 20 years, she has been providing complete and thorough escrow services for residential and commercial transaction.
The escrow process generally begins with a request to set up a new escrow by providing the signed Purchase and Sale Agreement (and all of the necessary addendums) and the earnest money (as negotiated by the parties) to the escrow agent. The Purchase and Sale Agreement should include complete contact information for the sellers and the buyers, as well as the legal description of the property, and clear instructions about how the utilities, taxes, homeowner’s association dues, and closing costs are to be handled.
Once we have received your Purchase and Sale Agreement, Brenda will send out a Letter of Instruction to both buyers and sellers. She will work with the title insurance company and with the lenders to insure that the seller is able to deliver clear title and the buyer’s financing is in order. Once the lender has provided loan documents, the estimated HUD 1 Settlement Statement is worked up and Brenda will contact you for an appointment to sign documents. At that time, you will be advised of the funds that must be wired into the escrow account or brought to our office, in the form of cash, money order, or certified check. The original, signed loan package is delivered back to the lender and documents are prepared for recording. Once the loan proceeds have been received and the documents are recorded, the funds will be disbursed and the transaction is completed.
For a refinance, the process is very similar, except that Brenda will work exclusively with the lender and the homeowner to insure the new loan closes and the buyer gets the benefit of those new, favorable terms.
For more information, contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.