Review Your Escrow Instructions Carefully
“Escrow Instructions” is a term you will often hear in a Real Estate transaction. Whether you are buying or selling a house, you will need to take time to review your Escrow Instructions thoroughly. They are one of the most important documents that you will receive from your Escrow Officer. Typically, your Escrow Officer will provide you with them upon opening escrow for your review.
What, exactly, are escrow instructions?
They are prepared by your Escrow Officer, and they identify the terms of the escrow. As Yvonne Walton, Escrow Officer at our Del Mar Office puts it, “the Escrow Instructions are a direct mirror of the Real Estate Purchase Agreement.”
Included in them are the Escrow Holder’s general provisions and legal responsibilities and limitations. They will identify the Escrow Holder’s license number, your Escrow number, Escrow’s contact information. They will layout the critical dates for the transaction.
What to look for when reviewing the instructions:
When reviewing your escrow instructions, make sure the information is correct; if you have questions now is the time to ask them. Here is a list of items that are a part of your escrow instructions. Take the time to review these items carefully:
- Close of Escrow Date
- Property Address and Legal Description
- Purchase Price
- Names of parties involved
- Buyer’s Vesting
- Fee’s and prorated amounts
- Who is responsible for paying what – Title Fees, Escrow Fees, HOA Fees, NHD Fees, Credits, etc.
If for any reason, there are changes to the terms of your transaction along the way in the Escrow process, such as any credit from the seller to the buyer or vice versa, requests for repairs, your Escrow Officer will provide an Addendum stating the terms of the additional or changed items. Any changes made to the Instructions must be agreed upon and signed off on by all relevant parties.
Funding, the end of the escrow process.
Throughout the escrow process, your Escrow Officer will make sure that all conditions of the Real Estate Purchase Agreement and Instructions are met. Upon satisfaction, your documents will be recorded, and the funds will be released.
As the third-neutral party to the transaction, your escrow officer makes sure that all parties to the transaction have a smooth and successful closing. They take the guesswork out of the entire process by providing you with clear and specific Instructions.