‘I’m in escrow.’ You hear these words all the time when discussing the sale of a home, but what exactly do they mean?  In California, the escrow process is a necessary step before a house or piece of real property can exchange hands.

An escrow is essentially a company who acts as a neutral third party and holds the money involved in the real estate transaction until all escrow conditions are met. When land, houses or other such property is involved, the escrow holds a deposit of money until the legal title to the land can be transferred to the new owners. Further, in California, an escrow also holds the deed to property until the buyer deposits the money needed to complete the purchase.

If a problem during the real estate transaction arises, such as a disagreement over price or terms, the escrow company does not get involved. It informs the buyer and seller’s agents of the problem and waits until the parties mutually agree on how to proceed. If the disagreement cannot be solved in a reasonable time, the escrow may choose to file all documents and money with the court and withdraw from the transaction; a rare but possible course of action.

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Cheryl Marquis has been a successful real estate agent in South Orange County, California for more than 25 years. As a TOP PRODUCER in her company, Cheryl has received the specific accreditation of a Certified Relocation Specialist (CRS) and Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR) and is a member of the Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate, a select network of the world’s leading luxury home agents. Cheryl is also member of C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors), N.A.R. (National Association of Realtors) and O.C.A.R. (Orange County Association of Realtors). To talk to Cheryl about buying or selling a home in Orange County, call her at 949.683.1501 or visit her online at www.CherylSellsOC.com.