As you know by now, I'm on a mission to bust the myth that real estate agents and their preferred service providers are sitting around in back rooms rubbing their hands together and cackling with sinister glee as they formulate evil plots to boost their own profits at their buyer clients' expense. In reality, what most agents want is for their buyers to get what the buyer wants -- a home that is a good value, in good shape (or in the shape the buyer believes it's in), with a smooth buying process and on-time closing. When it comes to escrow companies, these service providers have a huge degree of influence on the buyer's experience and the outcome of a transaction. The escrow holder's role is that of neutral, third-party intermediary. Escrow holders are the depository (meaning they collect everyone's funds, deeds and signatures) and the bursar (meaning they distribute all of these items, too), but they do not make any exchanges until all of the parties to the transaction -...
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