Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't Worry, Escrow Will Take Care of Everything....

Some people believe escrow officers must be miracle workers. And honestly, there may be some truth to that... I mean, who else in your typical real estate transaction has to deal with not only ALL of the parties involved, (buyers, sellers, lenders, attorneys, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, title officers, insurance agents, and the list goes on and on..), but their emotions as well, trying to walk a tightrope between them all, at the same time wearing the hats of a psychologist, therapist, and referee? (Ever heard the saying "Too many chiefs & not enough indians..." ??) And typically, without fail, no matter how hard the escrow officer works to avoid it, the grant deed will be delivered two day before the scheduled closing, signed in PENCIL, and with NO notary acknowledgement. (Reason being, of course, that everyone knows the effect of Murphy's Law is three times as prevalent in Real Estate than any other profession...)

"Oh, and by the way..", the seller's agent will say with a straight face, "My seller just left for a two week safari in Africa, and he will be spending most of the time traveling from village to village in a dugout canoe through the jungles of Botswana, where he of course won't be reachable by fax or phone, and the nearest Fed-Ex office or internet connection is at least two thousand miles away..."

"...but this deal HAS TO CLOSE ON FRIDAY!!!!!!"

To most people, escrow is a mysterious process, something that you have to go through if you are buying or selling property but don't really want to, and something that doesn't really sound all that appealing, anyhow. But an escrow officer is there to keep the communication going and the documents flowing between the parties, so everyone is aware of what is going on and there are no suprises approaching closing time... A good escrow officer will be able to use their experience and knowledge to help anticipate and identify any potential problems that COULD arise in a transaction, potentially jeopardizing the closing, and will work to keep everything on track for a smooth and painless transfer of the property (that is, until your seller decides to jet off to Africa to photograph a few zebras and giraffes at the most inopportune time...).

I have been in the escrow industry in the Greater Los Angeles Area for over a decade, much of that time as an Escrow Officer. And believe me, the safari story is not even CLOSE to being the craziest thing to befall a closing in my time...

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