The Role of Escrow in the Real Estate Transaction

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What About Property Taxes?

The terms of your transaction and the resultant escrow instructions determine how the property taxes will be handled. If there is no mention of the proration of taxes, your escrow officer will not deal with any credits or charges for prorated taxes. However, if your escrow calls for a proration of taxes, there will be an item in your closing statement that will reflect either a credit or charge to your account. If the taxes are not paid (even though there has been a credit or charge against your account), the buyer is obligated to obtain a tax bill and pay the taxes. If the buyer does not have a tax bill with which to pay the taxes, you can request a bill from the Tax Collector; send a photocopy of the deed.

Supplemental Property Taxes is another concern of the buyer. Upon transfer of real property, a supplemental tax bill is generated. This is accomplished in cooperation with the County Assessor and the County Tax Collector.

Shortly after the close of an escrow involving the conveyance of real property, the County Assessor will request information about the property from the buyer. This information assists the Assessor in determining the value of the property for taxation purposes. The escrow holder may have previously supplied some of the information at the time of the closing of the escrow, via Preliminary Change of Ownership form that should accompany each deed when it is recorded.

he Perfect Escrow; Does it Exist?

Perfection is sometimes difficult to achieve, especially in dealing with the complexities of the escrow, the desires of the parties and other matters that are sometimes far beyond the control of the escrow officer. It is human nature to err on occasion, but your escrow officer has the background, training, education, support and systems in place necessary in order to accomplish the objectives of the escrow instructions.

In the event you have any problems in the handling of your escrow, you should first contact the escrow officer.

If you problem is not resolved, you should next contact the management or owner of the company.

If the matter requires additional attention, you can call the proper regulatory agency.



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