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Ward Stone PLLC - Real Estate Professional since 1984

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The Escrow Process

What is an escrow? 
The escrow is the process of having a neutral party manage the exchange of money for real property. The escrow holder is known as an escrow or settlement officer or agent. The buyer deposits funds and the seller deposits a deed with the escrow holder along with all the other documents required to remove all “contingencies” (conditions and approvals) in the purchase agreement prior to closing.

How is an escrow opened? 
Once a purchase agreement is signed by all necessary parties, the buyer’s earnest money deposit and contract are submitted to the escrow holder. From this point, the escrow holder will follow the mutual written instructions of the buyer and seller, maintaining a neutral stance to ensure that neither party has an unfair advantage over the other. The escrow holder also follows the instructions of the buyer’s new lender, the seller’s existing lender, and both parties’ agents. The escrow holder ensures the transparency of the transaction, while carefully maintaining the privacy of consumers.

Your escrow professional may: 
- Open escrow and, if instructed to do so, deposit your good faith earnest money funds in a separate escrow account.
- Order a title search to determine ownership and status of the subject real property.
Issue a preliminary report and begin the process of eliminating the title exceptions you and your lender are not willing to take title subject to.
- Request payoff information for the seller’s loans, other liens, homeowner’s association fees, etc.
- Coordinate with the buyer’s lender on the preparation of the Closing Disclosure (CD).
Prorate fees, such as real property taxes, per the contract, and prepare the settlement statement.
- Set separate appointments allowing the seller and you to sign documents and deposit funds.
- Review documents ensuring all conditions and legal requirements are fulfilled; request funds from lender.
- When all funds are deposited, record documents with the County Recorder’s Office to transfer the subject real property to you.
- After the recordation is confirmed, close escrow and disburse funds, including seller’s proceeds, loan payoffs, etc.
- Prepare and send final documents to all parties involved.


Title and Escrow Professionals

Pioneer Title Agency
Shayne Fleischman
, Escrow Officer
3100 W Ray Rd. Ste 116, Chandler AZ 85226
phone: 480-917-6719
This Pioneer Title branch offers substantial Escrow Discounts for the following;
Senior Citizens 60+ • Military/Veterans • First Responders • Investors • Churches/Non-Profits
Simply notify your escrow officer when you submit your Earnest Money.

First American Title
Vanessa Cronk
Branch Manager
1528 E Williams Field Rd, Suite 101, Gilbert AZ 85295
phone: 480-777-0614

Old Republic Title
Trista Peare
Certified Escrow Officer
4505 E. Chandler Blvd, Suite 160, Phoenix, AZ 85048
phone: 480-705-0010 
This Old Republic Title branch offers Escrow Discounts for the following:
(1) a law enforcement officer or firefighter currently employed in Arizona by the Federal Government, the state, a county or municipality; (2) an active or inactive member of the United States Armed Forces and (3) persons of at least sixty-five (65) years of age at the date of the closing of the subject escrow.


When Due -
- Taxes for the 1st half of the current year, January 1 through June 30, are due on October 1st of current year. They become delinquent on November 1st of current year.
- Taxes for the 2nd half of the current year, July 1 through December 31, are due on March 1st of the following year. They become delinquent on May 1st of the following year.

Amount -
Of course the amount will always vary from home to home. A general Arizona rule-of-thumb used is to calculate 0.75 percent of the home's value to get the annual property tax due. (For example: A home worth about $450,000 x 0.75% equals about $3,375 per year in property taxes.) If you are curious about a specific home, simply email Ward the property address and Ward will look up all the tax details for you.

BUYING a home - Are you interested in buying a home in the Phoenix area? Let Ward help you. Ward can set up an automatic MLS e-Search alert to notify you as soon as any new listing comes on the market that meets your exact wants and needs. It is free, easy and automatic. No obligation. Simply contact Ward and let him know what you are looking for.

SELLING a home - Are you thinking about selling soon? Do not settle for thousands less with a part-time amateur agent or internet buyer/flipper with lots of hidden fees. To get the best NET price for your home, you need an experienced full-time professional with a powerful multi-media marketing plan. Experience and marketing matters! Contact Ward for a professional Market Analysis on your home.

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Ward Stone PLLC
Real Estate Professional since 1984
Member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame
Over 35 years experience / Over 1,000 homes sold

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