If you’re buying or selling a home or another piece of real estate, one thing is a certainty – there will come a time when money will exchange hands. Using escrow for real estate sales or purchase can provide you with peace of mind as you’ll know that the transaction is being overseen by a professional, objective party. Kristine Zelazo, the Short Sale Gal, will explore how escrow works in real estate transactions and why it’s important to opt for escrow services when buying or selling a property.

WHAT IS ESCROW AND WHY USE ESCROW FOR REAL ESTATE SALES?

You’ve probably heard of the term “escrow,” but many aren’t very familiar with the escrow process and why it’s important for a safe and smooth real estate transaction. In fact, some sellers can be tempted to forego escrow, as there are some fees involved, but at the end of the day, those fees can protect you and ensure peace of mind.

In short, escrow involves an objective third party — an escrow officer — who oversees the transaction. The escrow officer is provided with a set of instructions and conditions that must be fulfilled in order for money to exchange hands. Once these conditions are met, the money is disbursed and the title or deed is transferred.

Escrow keeps you safe as a buyer and as a seller, as it ensures that you don’t end up in a situation where you hand over the deed or title to a property or asset without getting properly reimbursed (or vice versa). The escrow officer also sees to it that funds are disbursed as necessary for other expenses, such as Realtor commissions, HOA fees, title insurance and so forth.

In some states, real estate escrow transactions are overseen by an attorney. In other states, such as California and Florida, real estate sales can be handled by title and escrow companies.

An escrow officer can also guide you through and orchestrate the sale process, which can be tricky with all of the various legalities and requirements that must be fulfilled. In short, an escrow officer works to ensure that all the puzzle pieces fit together.

Cash transactions can be especially dicey, so it’s especially vital to use escrow if you’re involved in a cash transaction, such as a sale of a distressed property. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF A PROBLEM ARISES DURING THE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION?

Escrow officers generally cannot serve as mediators if a problem arises, but the involved parties can enjoy peace of mind that their funds are in the possession of a neutral party.

The escrow officer is obligated to adhere to the points that are outlined in the escrow instructions, which must be signed by all involved parties at the beginning of the transaction. Those instructions indicate what conditions must be fulfilled in order for money to exchange hands, so in most cases, the escrow instructions enable you to avoid  disputes and hang-ups.

Using escrow for real estate sales is especially advantageous for real estate investors, as it can reduce your chances of encountering a situation where the real estate sale (and your funds) are hung up due to a dispute.

BUYING OR SELLING A HOME WITH KRISTINE ZELAZO, THE SHORT SALE GAL

If you’re in search of an investment property, wish to get involved in real estate investments such as buying short sales, but are unsure of where to begin, turn to Kristine Zelazo, the Short Sale Gal! In addition to helping buyers and sellers with short sale transactions in South Florida and beyond, The Short Sale Gal Kristine Zelazo also works with a small number of real estate investors who are seeking to get involved in short sale investing, rehabbing and fix and flipping properties. 

Kristine Zelazo has years of experience in the real estate investing field, so she’s well-positioned to provide guidance to new investors who are seeking a mentor and business partner. 

In addition, The Short Sale Gal also serves as a short sale expert and licensed Realtor, assisting individuals who are seeking to sell their distressed properties in a short sale in Florida and beyond.

If you’re seeking to sell your home in a short sale or wish to sell your home to an investor, simply complete the home pre-sale form to provide Kristine with additional information on the property in question. Then, call 786.570.0360.

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