San Dieguito Escrow Home » Escrow FAQs
What About Property Taxes?
The terms of your transaction and the resultant escrow instructions determine how the property taxes will be handled. If there is no mention of the proration of taxes, your escrow holder will not deal with any credits of charges for prorated taxes. However, if your escrow calls for a proration of taxes, there will be an item in your closing statement that will reflect either a credit or charge to your account. If the taxes are not paid (even though there has been a credit or charge against your account), the buyer is obligated to obtain a tax bill and pay the taxes. If the buyer does not have a tax bill with which to pay the taxes, you can request a bill from the Tax Collector; send a photocopy of the deed.

Supplemental Property Taxes is another concern of the buyer. Upon transfer of real property, a supplemental tax bill is generated. This is accomplished in cooperation with the County Assessor and the County Tax Collector.

Shortly after the close of an escrow involving the conveyance of real property, the County Assessor will request information about the property from the buyer. This information assists the Assessor in determining the value of the property for taxation purposes. Some of the information by have previously been supplied by the escrow holder at the time of the closing of the escrow, via a Preliminary Change of Ownership form that should accompany each deed when it is recorded.
 
What's My Role?
The key to any transaction as important as your sale, purchase, or loan, is to READ and understand your escrow instructions, If you do not understand them, you should ask your escrow officer to explain the instructions. Your escrow officer is not an attorney and cannot practice law; you should consult your lawyer for legal advice. Do not expect your escrow officer to advise you as to whether or not your have a "good deal" or are doing things the right way. The escrow officer is there to follow the instructions given by the principals in the escrow.

In order to expedite the closing of the escrow, you should check with your escrow officer as to what specific items you could do to assist. Ask the question "What can I do to expedite the closing of this escrow?"

Respond quickly to correspondence. This will assist in the timely closing of the transaction.

If you are required to deliver funds into the escrow, make sure that you provide "good" funds in the form required by the escrow officer. Company procedures differ in this regard and there are ways that you can help at the time of closing; check with your escrow officer. Do not give the escrow officer a personal check and expect the escrow to close immediately; the escrow can only close on cleared funds, and the processing of a personal check can take days, possibly even a week or more.

When the escrow officer closes the escrow, some of you may want the closing papers, checks, title policies, statements, etc. made available immediately. There are many aspects to the closing of the escrow, and some these cannot be processed on the day of the closing; they may take several days. If you have a special need, for example a cashier's check on the day of closing, you should communicate that need to the escrow officer early in the processing of the escrow.
 
Why use a licensed independent escrow company?

Most real estate transactions in the State of California utilizes the services of an escrow company. Ironically, escrow remains one of the least understood elements of the real estate process.

Because of this, buyers and sellers often place their faith in the real estate broker or lender to recommend an escrow company. What many consumers don't realize, however, is that they are entrusting this escrow company to safeguard their funds being held in trust. In addition, it is the primary responsibility of the escrow holder to ensure that all of the necessary instructions in the real estate agreement are executed.

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 consumer makes a knowledgeable and informed decision in choosing an escrow company.

Read more... [Why use a licensed independent escrow company?]
 
What Fees And Costs Will Be Charged?
Escrow fees are not regulated by the state. Escrow holders, like any other business, will charge fees that are commensurate with the costs of producing the service, the liability undertaken, and the overhead expenses which include a profit factor. Therefore, the fees will vary between companies and from county to county. Normally, the escrow holder will follow its minimum fee schedule, which will provide for extra charges based upon the differing elements of your escrow. On occasions, an additional fee will be charged for unusual expenditures of time on a given transaction.

The escrow holder has no control over the costs of the other services that are obtained, such as the title insurance policy, the lender's charges, insurance, recording charges, etc.