Icon Escrow and Settlement Services provides residential escrow services in Beverly Hills, California. Most real estate transactions in the State of California utilize the services of an escrow company. Ironically, escrow remains one of the least understood elements of the real estate process. With that said, what is an “independent” residential escrow company and what does it have to offer?
What is a Residential Escrow Service?
When a buyer or seller intends to purchase or sell a house, they would need an independent third party to manage the escrow process. This is also referred to as an “escrow service.” An escrow service essentially means that the company or individual managing the property will be responsible for the overall management of the property until the closing date. This may include making sure the homeowners pay their monthly mortgage payments on time, but the escrow agent is ultimately responsible for everything. This includes maintenance of the property, inspecting the home for damages, collecting rent and security deposits from tenants and making any repairs that may become needed. Since these are all services that may require overtime, the cost to the homeowner may ultimately be more than the monthly savings from the escrow service, resulting in a loss of income.
Best Residential Escrow Service Process
When you find a home suitable for purchase, your next step will be to set up an appointment with the seller or agent. It is important to have an open line of communication during this meeting, since it will be your duty to maintain close contact with the property owner throughout the process. Your goal here is to ensure that the property goes through the closing process smoothly, without any last-minute snags or unexpected issues.
Benefits of Using an Independent Escrow Service
One of the main reasons many people choose to use an escrow service is because it simplifies the process for both parties. Because the property owner has the cash and the power to sign all of the paperwork, he can avoid having to deal with various creditors and liens that might affect the sale of the house. On the other hand, the real estate broker has no liens or debts that he must worry about, so he can focus on making the sales that he has agreed to represent. The broker can also help his customers obtain the best terms they can get for their property.
Why Choose Icon Escrow?
The responsibility to protect the consumers’ interests should not be taken lightly. The escrow holder must remain impartial during the escrow period to ensure fair representation of all parties. It is crucial, then, that the broker, lender or the consumer makes a knowledgeable and informed decision in choosing an escrow company.
“Licensed Residential Escrow Companies” VS. “Controlled Escrow Companies”
All escrow companies in California can be classified into two basic categories: Licensed or Controlled. Moreover “Licensed” escrow companies are independent businesses licensed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI). However, this license regulates the procedures and practices of the companies and subjects them to stringent requirements designed to protect consumers. “Controlled” escrow companies are non-licensed businesses that can be owned by a variety of the entities, including real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, banks, savings and loans, and title insurance companies. Such companies fall under the jurisdiction of a variety of supervising agencies, with regulations and requirements that vary widely. One fact remains constant however; none of the agencies have regulations as strict as those imposed on the escrow companies licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.
Neutral Third Party
The bottom line is that a licensed escrow company is the best possible neutral third party to complete your real estate transaction. Whether searching for an escrow holder yourself, or if you are looking to recommend one to a client; a licensed escrow company gives you peace of mind.
Escrow companies are governed by the “Escrow Law”, contained in Division 6 of the California Financial Code, and regulated under Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations. Inquiries regarding escrow licensees may be directed to the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, 320 Fourth Street, Suite 750, Los Angeles, California 90013 (213.576.7500)
Escrow Agents’ License Bond and license-mandated membership in Escrow Agents’ Fidelity Corporation, a California non-profit mutual benefit corporation, is found in Section 17312 of the California Financial Code. Requirements for Maintenance of tangible net worth and excess of liquid assets are set forth in Section 17210 of the California Financial Code.
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