frequently asked questions

A  Yes! The Escrow Firm is licensed by the Department of Business Oversight (DBO), binding it to the most stringent regulations in the industry. This means that The Escrow Firm is regularly audited by the DBO. All employees are approved by the DBO and subjected to background checks by the Department of Justice. Additionally, The Escrow Firm must participate in internal financial audits performed by CPA firms licensed by the State of California.

The safety of your money is also guaranteed by the fact that The Escrow Firm is bonded by Escrow Agents’ Fidelity Corporation (EAFC). Just like the FDIC protects your financial assets at your banking institution, the EAFC protects the money you hold in escrow.

In addition to these strict standards, you can trust our 19+ years of experience and excellent track record. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Home Services of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, we are committed to the highest level of integrity in the way we conduct business. Our number one priority is fulfilling our obligation to guard your money and protect your assets.

A  Escrow is a service that provides protection and the handling of funds and/or documents between two parties in a transaction of real or personal property. Escrow enables buyers and sellers to conduct a transaction through a neutral party, thereby minimizing risk.

In the escrow, all parties involved give their instructions to the “Escrow Holder.” This neutral intermediary guarantees that no funds or property changes hands until all instructions have been completed.

A  No. The Escrow Firm is licensed by the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) which has the strictest standards for operation, including employee background checks, trust fund insurance, financial liquidity requirements and net worth requirements.

Escrow companies licensed by other agencies, such as the Department of Insurance or the Bureau of Real Estate, do not adhere to these strict standards. We recommend you read our Dare to Compare chart to see how we measure up against other companies.

A  Most contracts which involve the transfer, lease, or financing of real or personal property should be done in escrow. Escrow can also be used when purchasing a mobile home, selling a business, or transferring stock in a closely-held business.

Buyers and sellers should require the protection of escrow for any transaction that involves a significant investment.

A  It is the job of escrow to verify that the terms of the purchase agreement have been met before authorizing the transfer of title and the transfer of funds between parties.

Escrow is a neutral third party that collaborates with sellers, buyers, real estate agents, title companies, lenders, home warranty companies, insurance providers, termite companies and lien holders. These parties deposit funds and documents into escrow, where they are reviewed and held until closing.

A To protect your assets including money, real and personal property. Escrow provides assurance to both buyers and sellers that no funds or property will change hands until all of the instructions have been verified and completed.

A  As a buyer, your primary responsibility is to arrange for a loan, if that is required for your particular transaction. If you haven’t begun that process, notify your real estate agent and ask for assistance in finding a lender. Other buyer responsibilities will be laid out in the Escrow Instructions.

A  The Escrow Officer is a trained expert, often with professional designations that indicate they have met the high standards of education and experience required for certification by the California Escrow Association.

The Escrow Officer is available to provide you with any help needed to close the transaction quickly and effectively. Depending on the terms of the instructions, they may determine that the conditions of escrow have been met, and then order the transfer of the affected real or personal property to the involved parties.

A  Read the Escrow Instructions carefully to confirm they are exhaustive and that you agree on all points. If you have questions or concerns, discuss them with the Escrow Officer BEFORE signing. Once signed, the instructions become the framework for the conduct of escrow.

A  No. All escrow funds are held in a non-interest bearing account.

A  No. Escrow Officers are not legal counsel and cannot give either party legal advice. They must remain neutral between both parties.

A  It’s helpful if you let us know upfront your preferred communication method. Do you prefer email or phone? What is the best number or email address to use? Escrow is time sensitive and most communication requires a quick response. Setting a clear plan and expecations for communication will help minimize delays and complications.

It is also helpful if you double check documents to make sure you have properly signed them. Most areas that need to be signed, notarized, or initialed are clearly marked.

Lastly, if you have any questions, please let the Escrow Officer know! They’re there to help.