First, a little about "escrow". To close the sale of a place, a neutral, third party (the escrow company) is engaged to assure the transaction will close properly and on time. When payment is held by a third party in a transaction between a buyer and a seller, it's in escrow. PayPal is a good example of an escrow company.
The escrow agent makes sure that the terms and conditions of the agreement between the two parties are completed prior to the sale being finalized.
The certificates the escrow agent may obtain include:
- Loan documents
- Tax statements
- Fire and other insurance policies
- Title insurance policies
- Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing
- Requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds
Upon completion of all portions of the escrow, closing can take place. At this time, all payments and fees for inspections, title insurance and real estate commissions are paid out. You'll then get the title to the house and the title insurance gets dispersed as agreed upon in the escrow instructions.
At the close of escrow, payment of funds shall be made in an acceptable form to the escrow. You'll know when it's time to submit the form of payment.