An Escrow Agent’s Value to a Real Estate Professional

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Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Investor:
If you are closing deals, this blog is a must read!

An Escrow Agent or Escrow Officer works at a title company and handles the documents and monies to close a real estate transaction.  Working with a solid Escrow Agent can save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of headaches over time!

I am going to let 3 true stories explain why a Title or Escrow Agent is one of the biggest assets an investor or a real estate agent can have.

  1. Convoluted Mess of a Deal:  Earlier this year, we received an opportunity to purchase a home from a gentleman that had previously sold his house on a wrap-around mortgage.  The buyers soon after split the scene and left him high and dry with a mortgage payment while going through chemo treatments and living in another city.  The property had equity, so we took on the challenge of paying a lawyer to “unwrap” the mortgage, allowing us to close the deal.  Well, in this process we had to make a couple of payments and we decided to make a few improvements on the house.  We brought the deal to our title company, and they immediately opened title though we were weeks away from closing.  They discovered that the folks that had the home on a wrap had accumulated over $100k in tax liens.  These liens unfortunately became tied to the property.  After much deliberation we decided to cut our losses and bow out of the deal.Our Escrow Agent, by being prudent and looking out for us, saved us a minimum of $8,500k that we were about to spend put in the property!
  2. Unraveling the heir-ship ball of yarn: Already this year, we have acquired 5 properties from sellers that have inherited the home.   Three of them would not have been easily acquired if it were not for our escrow agent.  I connected the seller to our escrow agent and never had to deal with it.  It committed the seller to us since, we were “providing the service” of dealing with the heirs.  It gave our company great value knowing they were not having to deal with hiring a real estate attorney and paying the exorbitant fees.  3 of these were families without wills.  Most inheritance situations can be dealt with by a good title company and the costs are simply drawn at closing.
  3. This One’s for you Real Estate Agents: My wife is a real estate agent that specializes in short sales.  Recently, she closed one that proved to be one of the greatest victories of her life!  Her co-champion was our trusty escrow agent.  The seller was a woman facing foreclosure back in March.  She contacted my wife and a short sale was initiated with the bank.  The home quickly brought a good solid offer that was sent to the bank for review.  The bank drug their feet as usual and now July comes around and things are finally progressing.  Because the seller’s loan was FHA, they required a HUD at least five days prior to closing.  So, our escrow agent puts together yet another HUD to send over to the bank.  One week before closing, the seller reveals to my wife that she has nowhere to go and needs 3 weeks to move out.  I will omit the gory details of the conversations that follow this announcement.  Long story not so short, closing day comes and seller is scheduled for 2pm.  Seller does not arrive and my wife starts crying!  The escrow agent without hesitation, says to my wife, “Let’s go there right now”.  They head directly to the sellers home about 30 minutes away and she signs the papers…. THE DEAL IS DONE!  5 HUD’s, many hours of emails, phone calls and 1 car ride = a deal that probably would have gone to foreclosure.  Having a good escrow agent made the difference!

Go ahead and find the best escrow agent in your town and build a great working relationship.

In the end your pockets will be bigger and your head without aches!

Photo: Dokimazo

About Author

Jason Grote

Jason Grote, co-founder of of IBuyAustinHouses.com, has been involved in real estate investing for 10 years. Through his experience, Jason has gained the expertise to sell a home fast and can also help people wanting to begin investing in Austin, Texas real estate.

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