An Overview of the Escrow Process

The word "escrow" is defined as follows: the state of a deed, funds, etc. put in the care of a third party until certain conditions are fulfilled.

This is what takes place immediately after both the buyer and seller, assisted by a qualified Real Estate Agent, have agreed to the provisions of a contract and have signed that contract. The Real Estate Agent then takes the contract to a competent Escrow Agent and the work of transferring the title to the property begins. A complete search of public records pertaining to the subject property is made to determine if, in fact, that property has marketable title. Simultaneously, proper instruments are prepared, taxes are prorated, lenders are contacted, assumptions and/or payoffs are ordered and inspections are completed. The Escrow Officer and Real Estate Agent work together to compile all needed paperwork and funds essential to close the transaction in an orderly manner. When the closing date comes, the Escrow Officer is then ready to disburse funds to the proper parties and record the new documents of ownership. The sellers receive the funds due to them and the buyers legally own their new property, with the assurance that the title to that property is free of any defects. PSS Titlegives that assurance by issuing a Title Insurance Policy.

Why Title Insurance?

In every real estate transfer the matter of a title examination invariably arises. The home buyer often questions whether title insurance is really necessary, particularly when an examination of the title has been completed by an experienced title examiner or real estate attorney, and the examination of all available title records shows no adverse information which question the marketability of the title. But . . . does an examination of title records necessarily remove all concern for title problems eventually surfacing?
The answer is NO . . . and that is why title insurance exists and why it plays such a basic role in protecting the real estate interests and equity of policy holders.

What Are the Risks?

There are many title troubles that can arise to cause the loss of your property or mortgage investment. Hidden risks, that is title troubles which are not disclosed, even by the most careful search of public records, are the most dangerous. Hidden risks can make your title worthless. Your attorney's examination may be the finest that skill, experience and legal knowledge can produce, but your title may be fatally defective.

Here are some title troubles that frequently occur. You may not discover them when you buy real estate, but months or years later, they can result in the loss of your property or an expensive lawsuit.

  • Deeds by persons of unsound mind
  • Deeds to or from defunct corporations
  • Defective acknowledgments
  • Duress in execution of instruments
  • Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials
  • False personation of the true owner of land
  • Forged documents, i.e., deeds, releases, etc.
  • Misrepresentation of wills
  • Mistakes in recording legal documents
  • Surviving children omitted from a will
  • Errors in indexing
  • Capacity of foreign fiduciaries
  • Birth or adoption of children after date of will
  • Deeds delivered after death of grantor/grantee, without consent of grantor
  • Marital rights of spouse purportedly, but not legally, divorced
  • Undisclosed divorce of spouse who conveys as consort's heir
  • Deeds from a bigamous couple
  • Deeds by minors
  • Deeds in lieu of foreclosure given under duress
  • Deeds by persons supposedly single, but married
  • Administration of estate of persons absent but not deceased.
  • Inadequate descriptions on conveyances
  • Claims of creditors against property sold by heirs or divisees
  • Easements by prescription not discovered by a survey
  • Federal condemnation without filing of notice
  • Deed of community property recited to be separate property
  • Falsification of records
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs
  • Instruments executed under fabricated or expired Power of Attorney

The Homebuyer's Overview



New Construction


Possible counter offer from Seller
Possible rejection from Seller

Earnest Money Deposit
Inspection of property
Possible contingency after inspection

Credit Report
Appraisal of property by Lender
Verification of employment and financial background

Approval of mortgage application
Possible rejection of mortgage application

Conducts Title Search on property
Reviews and prepares documents for close of escrow

Signing of mortgage papers
Recording of documents
Keys - it's finally yours…CONGRATULATIONS!

Overview of the Loan Process

Pre-qualification - The pre-qualification process determines how much you qualify for, based on your income and expenses.

Application - This is the actual qualification process by the Lender, which includes obtaining a credit report, employment and salary verification, rental and/or mortgage history and verification of funds.

Order of Documents - The Lender orders a preliminary title report and property appraisal.

Loan Submission - The entire loan package will be put together and submitted to the loan underwriter for final approval.

Documentation - All supporting documents are gathered. The Lender will correct any problems and also address requests for additional information.

Loan Approval - All parties are notified that the loan has been approved.

Drawing of Documents - The loan documents are completed and sent to PSS Title Agency, Inc. An appointment is set for the borrowers to sign the final documents.

Funding - The Lender reviews the loan package and funds are wired to PSS Title Agency.

Recording - PSS Title Agency records the Deed of Trust at the County Recorders's Office. The recording process officially closes the escrow.

Promptly, Efficently and Affordably Settle All Closings!

10210 Greenbelt Rd, Suite 720
Lanham, MD 20706
Phone - 301-552-4646
Fax - 301-552-4655

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