Actually, Marc, it is totally correct - both ways. The buyer also pays for the seller's transfer taxes and pays off their mortgage, but we don't approach the matter as if the buyer can negotiate a savings on those transfer taxes or on the mortgage (except, of course, on a short sale).
Personally, I find the "sell-and-buy" client to be more pleasant, but to take up much more time and effort, than two separate transactions.... more
Thomas you don't provide enough information to answer the question because the amount of the escrow held is based on the date you close. Property taxes are collected quarterly Feb. 1, May 1, August 1 & November 1.
Say you were to close today the closing statement would say collect 5 months of property taxes for escrow (No credit back from the seller) because your first mortgage payment wouldn't be due til May 1 (with a grace period to May 15, taxes due are for April, May & June). The mortgage company would send out the property tax payment (3 months) in April (prior to the due date) leaving them 2 months of reserves.
Say you were to close two weeks from today (April 7) the closing statement would say collect 2 months of property taxes for escrow (but you would probably get a small credit back from the seller as well, a week of taxes) because your first mortgage payment wouldn't be due til June 1 (with a grace period to June 15). The mortgage company would send out the property tax payment (3 months) in July (prior to the due date, taxes due are for July, August & September) leaving them 1.25 months of reserves.
The amount of escrow collected at closing can not exceed a certain limit per RESPA regulations. That amount is influenced by the amount of prepays that are collected (interim interest as well). So Thomas there is no exact answer, so since it's better to figure high than low I suggest calculate 5 months of tax escrow and hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised.... more