Escrow and Settlement are important parts of the real estate transaction.  When real estate is purchased or refinanced it typically involves the transfer of large sum of money, as well as the preparation and execution of various documents.  A settlement agent such as Sandpoint Title acts as a neutral third party during this process.  We handle the transfer of funds and execution of documents as specifically outlined by the principals (buyer, seller and lender) in the transaction.  This process includes receiving and holding purchase & financing funds in our trust account, preparing and facilitating the execution of needed documents by all parties involved, and disbursing held funds to the proper parties upon completion of transactions.


Who starts the process of Escrow?

Typically, the parties to the transaction will put in writing in the form of a Purchase and Sale Agreement, the terms of the agreement between the buyer and seller. The real estate agent, if one is involved, will initiate the escrow process by sending the escrow agreement (Purchase and Sale Agreement), which details the transaction for the Escrow Officer. If this is a loan transaction only, the lender will initiate the process for you.


Who chooses the Escrow Company?

The choice of the escrow company is normally done by agreement between the parties to the transaction. If a real estate agent is involved, the broker may recommend an escrow agent. However, it is the right of the principals to use an escrow agent of their choosing. This is often determined by relationships, however price may be a consideration. Ask your agent for a price comparison. Sandpoint Title has the most experienced escrow officers in Sandpoint, and they look forward to working with you.


Why is Escrow necessary?

Quite simply, the reason to have your escrow handled at Sandpoint Title is the assurance that no funds or property will be transferred until all of the conditions in your transaction have been met. The Escrow Officers at Sandpoint Title have the obligation to hold your funds in their Trust Account and not disburse those funds, or transfer title, until all provisions of the agreement(s) have been complied with.
As an agent for Stewart Title, Sandpoint Title Insurance has been vetted and our practices verified. STI is a Stewart Title Trusted Provider and as such we have gone through what is believed to be the most rigorous vetting process in the title industry.
The escrow holder acts for both parties and protects the interests of each within the power of the escrow instructions. Escrow cannot be completed until the instructions have been fully satisfied and all parties have signed escrow documents. The escrow holder takes instructions based on the terms of the purchase agreement and the lender's requirements.

The duties of the escrow holder include:

  • • Managing the funds and/or documents in accordance with instructions
  • • Paying all bills as authorized
  • • Responding to requests from the principals
  • • Closing the escrow only when all terms and conditions have been met
  • • Distributing the funds accordingly

What Do I Need to Do Before My Appointment to Sign Escrow Papers?

All parties signing the documents must bring proper identification. Bring either a valid driver's license, state identification card or current passport with you to the title company. This item is needed to verify your identity by a notary public. This is a routine, but necessary step for your protection.


What's the Next Step After I've Signed the Closing Escrow Papers?

After both parties have signed all the necessary instructions and documents, the escrow officer will return the buyer's loan documents to the lender for final review. After the review is completed, the lender is ready to fund the buyer's loan and informs the escrow officer.


How Long is an Escrow?

The length is determined by the terms of the purchase agreement and can range from a few days to several months.


What is an "Escrow Closing"?

An escrow closing is the final step in the transaction. It signifies legal transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. Generally, the Deed is recorded within one working day of the escrow holder's receipt of loan funds. This completes the transaction and signifies the "close of escrow." Once all the conditions of the escrow have been satisfied, the escrow officer informs you or your agent that we are in the position to record the deed, disburse funds, and complete the transfer to purchase.