First, a little about "escrow". When you're closing on your new house, an escrow company is used to assure the transaction will close correctly and in a timely manner. Escrow agents hold money for "safe-keeping" in an exchange between a buyer and seller. PayPal is a good example of an escrow company.
The escrow agent insures that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's negotiated agreement are performed prior to the sale being completed. This includes receiving monies and documents, completing required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that are to be cleared with the transaction, assuring you have a clean title to your house before the final price is fully paid.
Escrow companies compile the following records:
- Title insurance policies
- Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing
- Requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds
- Loan documents
- Tax statements
- Fire and other insurance policies
Closing on the home happens when all of the procedures of the escrow are done. All outstanding payments and fees are taken and paid off at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). The home's title gets handed over to you and title insurance begins per the policies of your particular escrow process.
The escrow company gets a payment when the closing is complete. As your REALTOR, I'll inform you of the acceptable way of paying.