Real Estate Trends: Show Me The Money!

Posted August 29, 2020 in Real Estate Trends

Scott Hogan, Clark County WA real estate agent

The subject of my monthly column is “title insurance.” But, that’s only half of what we do at Clark County Title. The other half? Escrow. I’m not talking about the escrow (or impound) account into which you pay your taxes and insurance along with your monthly mortgage payment—that’s handled by your lender—I’m talking about the one-time escrow of your home purchase or sale.

Escrow has two parts: documents and money.

The document part is the drafting of the deed from Seller to Buyer and other documents that clear up the title to the property like loans, judgments and liens so that they Buyer is getting the property “free and clear” of those potential problems. Loan documents are typically drawn up by the lender—if you’ve ever had to sign an inch-thick stack of documents at closing, most of those are the promise to repay, promise to keep the property insured, and other disclosures that allow the lender to send us their money to fund your purchase or refinance.

Which brings us to the “show me the money” part. If escrow didn’t exist, the Buyer would show up in the parking lot with cash like they were buying a video game on eBay, and the Seller would show up with the Deed. “First, you give me the money,” says the Seller. “No, not before you give me the deed,” the Buyer replies. I’m sure you can picture the lame movie scene as this plays out.

To avoid this stand-off, escrow collects the documents and holds them, ready to go, until the money is deposited into our account. Only then do we record (file) the deed and loan documents, and spend the money by paying off the Seller’s loan, property taxes, and other encumbrances.

It may sound routine, but the deadline pressure and big money changing hands will make you glad that you have capable professionals helping you, your lender, and your Realtor get it right.

If we can answer any of your questions about escrow or title insurance, call us! Clark County Title wants to be part of your real estate success. We’re happy to help!

From your friends at Clark County Title,