Why real estate escrow is so important

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DEAR BOB: I am new to real estate and am confused by the term "escrow." I've heard it means closing settlement of a property sale, and also that it refers to payment of property taxes and insurance. Which is correct? – Raymond R. DEAR RAYMOND: Great question. Webster's Dictionary isn't very helpful. Among definitions it says escrow means, "in the care of a third party until certain conditions are fulfilled, as a bond, deed, etc." Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Both escrow purposes you specify are correct. I prefer my explanation I give to my real estate law students: an escrow holder is supposed to be a neutral stakeholder. In real estate, there are two primary purposes for an escrow holder. One is the third party who holds the property buyer's money and the seller's deed. The escrow holder then gives the seller's deed to the buyer in return for the buyer's cash. Of course the escrow holder does much more, such as making certain the title is insurable, recording the deed, an...