What is the typical CA escrow fee for the buyer?? Our 1/2 of the escrow fee is almost 2% of the sales price.

Asked by Joe Krugger, San Diego, CA Mon Apr 28, 2008

That means the escrow company is making 4%! Seems like a rip off in San Diego. Sellers who are listing with Prudential choose Pickford which is all owned by the same companies. Seems like a very anti-competive scam to me.

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Jodimey, Home Buyer, Dallas, TX
Thu Jun 11, 2015
It's a fee charged by the title company. Escrow Fee is pretty much the same as a closing fee. It actually has nothing to do with an actual escrow account for taxes and insurance.

If you check your GFE, it should be listed under the title fees. The lender has no control over those costs.

You should shop around with different title companies in your area to get better rates on fees.

Reference link: http://titlecompanies.net/
3 votes
fredeckert, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
With our company, Chicago Title, escrow fees are based on the sales price of the home. Let me know what the price is and I will get you our quote. As an example, for a $500,000 sale, our escrow fee would be $2300 total (this is customarily split between buyer and seller). The title policy for a $500,000 loan, for the buyer is $635. Hope that helps. I am including a link below that shows who pays for what. Please wait for it to load. You can call me if you have questions.
3 votes
Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Ask this escrow company to provide with a copy of their published rates. They are required to have these in printed format on file at all times. I don't have my formula onhand to share with you to give you an idea of the general escrow fee paid but the last escrow I just closed was for a home sale price of $400,000 and the escrow fee portion of the closing costs was $999.00. Now understand that there are also title insurance fees, notary fees, sub-escrow fees, loan tie-in fees, etc. These fees are usually outlined in your lender's good faith estimate as they manage many of the closing costs for a buyer. Compare the lender's good faith estimate to a copy of the escrow company's estimated closing statement to see what the differences may be. It is always prudent to review your closing statement before closing. Your real estate agent should help you determine if something looks out of range. Best of luck!!
1 vote
Michael Barr…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Hi there Joe, this seems high, What is the purchase price ? It normally is $ 2 per thousand with a $ 200 base. So for Example Sales price $ 600,000 Escrow would be $ 1,400 per side. Total closing costs normally is 1.5% of Purchase price.
If you are interested in getting more informtion on this let me know. Hope this helps
Kind Regards
Michael Barron
First Team Real Estate
1 vote
What would be thetotal escrow fees for a house that sells for $270,000?
Flag Wed Apr 30, 2014
Dreamloan, Home Buyer, San Diego, CA
Tue May 2, 2017
2% sounds like your total closing costs and that is about average. Sometime it is confused when Escrow provide an estimate of closing costs and the total of all your closing costs come to 2% they they are wrongfully called your escrow fees, the escrow fee should be just a portion of your total closing costs. Look at the breakdown and see what the escrow company is charging for their fee, it is 2% for that fee alone, that is far to high. If the total of all your "escrow" costs or closing costs are 2% that that is about right.
0 votes
Ynz9, Home Buyer, San Diego, CA
Sat May 28, 2016
I also thought that Pickford Escrow was a scam. That's how I found this page. They are trying to charge me $2,200 all tolled fees on a $267K loan. It seems high, so I contact my agent, the escrow officer, and my lender agent to try to figure out why it is so high. They all tell me to talk to the other person, it's their fault. My lender tells me that a seasoned agent usually has a "relationship" with the escrow company. I tell my agent this, and she denies it. No biggie, but she seems really defensive about it. I always think deep when something sticks out from the day as unusual. Then it dawned on me that every service along the way I was given a choice, but my email trail showed me that my agent has simply "chosen" Pickford for me. So, I think their is some tainted water here, but do I have the time and the money for a lawyer? Especially after my agent quick-sold me on a contract that has binding arbitration, all why we were alone in the viewing property. Very shady. So, one week before closing, I am contacting other escrow companies for a better price. Virtually no information on the web about switching escrow companies in mid stream, but we shall see. Wish me luck!
0 votes
The "relationship" between your agent and the title company was established because the agent has found she can trust them to get you through to closing in the most efficient and stress free manner. Trust me when I say there is no financial reward for her using them. I've tried many different companies and title officers and now I open all my escrows with the escrow officer who answers my calls, looks for red flags or issues that could delay closing, and works around my client's schedule - not hers. My clients appreciate that.
Flag Fri Apr 7, 2017
South Coast, Agent, Orange, CA
Wed Feb 17, 2016
First, understand that the escrow fees charged by various escrow companies various. There are no set fees, pricing standards, or add-on “extras” that limit what an escrow company can charge

MANY ESCROW COMPANIES CHARGE WHAT THEY DO BECAUSE THEY CAN. Hate to make it sound that greedy, but when we in the industry see escrow fees on the same property run, for example, from $600 to $1,500, it even blows us away.

Let's begin with the Base rate. Almost all escrow companies charge a base rate, and that is computed on the sales price of the property. The company I use charges $2 per $1,000 of the sales price, plus $200. Therefore, for a $250,000 sales price, the base rate paid by both the buyer and the seller would be $250 x $2 plus $200….for a total of $700. Notice I say both, because this base rate, on 99% of all sales, is charged to both parties…$1,400 to the escrow company split 50/50 by the buyer and seller.

So, the first thing you check out with an escrow company is the base rate…and that can it vary from company to company and town to town. Our experience is that escrow companies in Orange County or parts of Los Angeles County are charging base rates almost double from above…for the same service.

Now comes the “add-ons.” Add-ons, in some cases, truly represent additional work for the escrow staff, and are a legitimate fee. However, we have noticed a trend in our industry that some escrow companies are charging for everything under the sun…almost to the point that we wonder what the base rate is. It can get a little crazy, but it allows an escrow company to keep the base rate down.

The add-ons for a seller, I would think are around $50 this is a flat fee (is a fair fee), to draw/create the legal documents such as the grant deed, inter-spousal deed, etc (if they are applicable). Plus they charge a $35 wire fee if applicable (seller has the proceeds wired to a particular account instead of receiving a check at the close)…and that is only because the bank charges them a wire fee.

That’s it…that is all a seller should pay for escrow services. (just my opinion)

Unfortunately, that is not the end for most escrow companies. I have routinely seen other escrow companies charge for notary fees, administration fees (what is that?), doc prep fees, additional check fees, processing fees, demand ordering fees, etc.

So…if you are a seller or buyer, what to do?

Simple…have your escrow company itemize the base rate, the add-on fees, and anything else they may charge for (UPS or Fed-ex charges are normal if they occur, but should be just for the cost of the delivery, and not inflated for the escrow company to make a few bucks). Get it in writing, and then if the costs are any different at the close, refuse to pay.

If you are represented by an agent in your transaction, they should do this for you. Most real estate agents have developed relationships with certain escrow officers over the years, and it is natural for them to want to use an officer that they trust…but be careful here. It is one thing to pay a little more for what your agent deems is professional and trustworthy service…but not at two to three times the cost.

In the end, the escrow business is just like any other business…they are going to charge what they feel they are worth. That is fine. However, all I suggest is that you know up front what you are paying for, and get what you expect. If that happens, then all is well, and you can finish your sale on a high note…and that is all anyone really wants in the sale of their property.

Take care, hopes this helps with any escrow fee questions you may have, and thanks for reading.

Deanna Joseph
0 votes
Thank you and understand the rate structure. However, I have a different question. Why is the rate based on the amount of the property price? It seems to me that their task is more administrative. They will do the same work when the transaction is $1,000 or $1,000,000. Unlike lenders, they take on more risk as the loan amount increases. Escalating escrow charges do not seem warranted.
Flag Tue Jul 4, 2017
$2 per thousand plus 200-250 for purchase price, Can you tell me the name of Escrow Company, in Los Angeles area, lower is $2.50 per thousand plus 200-300 fee of purchase price. Both buyer and seller pay the same amount.
Flag Sun Apr 2, 2017
Zannclan, Home Buyer, Granite Bay, CA
Fri Jul 25, 2014
Is splitting the escrow fee and title insurance fee 50/50 buyer /seller somewhat standard?
If the purchase price is $450,000 with 10% down....what would the costs approximate to?
0 votes
Gueradezmadr…, Home Buyer, Huntington Park, CA
Sun Aug 18, 2013
Hello, so for a purchase price of $265k what's the max escrow charged?
0 votes
MaryAnn Morr…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sun Sep 30, 2012
Normally I see fees running

$1.50 to $1.95 per thousand of purchase price plus a base fee of $195 to $275 per side.
Then add to that:
wire fee
loan tie in fee
recording fee
fedex fee
sub escrow fee
0 votes
That is a very low amount for escrow especially considering the fact that escrow does all the work in real estate transaction. The agents on both sides really do minimal work and get paid a lot more. Escrow charges are typically $2.25-2.95 per thousand with a base fee usually around $450. And of course with all fees.
Flag Fri Apr 25, 2014
e.montes, Home Buyer, Santa Ana, CA
Sat Sep 29, 2012
This must be a typo...it should read 0.2%. For instanvce if sales price is $ 500,000 the buyer ( and typically also the seller ) would pay $1,000 for escrow services...not $10,000!!!!!!!!
0 votes
Loanguyinman…, , Manhattan Beach, CA
Wed Nov 18, 2009
Wow, no one even asked what the sales price was! If I assume the purchase price is #250,000, then there is going to be a "minimal fee" which may add up to 4%. Although this is VERY rare, 4% is criminal and judging by the date of this thread, they may actually be in court for fraud at this point. 1.25% of the purchase price includes lenders fees (not points paid), title and escrow for the buyer. So if at $500,000, that's $6250 in closing costs, usually broken out to $1500 lenders fees, $1500 for title (includes fedex, notary), leaving about $3250, which about $1000 will be for notary, interest due (no escrows here), so about $2250 for escrow. All the people on this thread never answered your question or asked the right question - all just trying to sell their services. The above is pretty spot on, but EVERY escrow is different and San Diego escrow companies are a PAIN and primadonnas, so stay on them BIG time. I'm spoiled here in L.A.
0 votes
Mike Lewis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jul 7, 2008
2% is high. Usually around $1,000 to $1,500.
0 votes
Denise Gleav…, Agent, Claremont, CA
Tue Apr 29, 2008
Hi Joe,
Yes 2% sounds high. typically all of your closing costs (escrow, title, mortgage etc...) run about 3% of your sales price. Most companies are usually competitive with each other. They have a base fee then charge so much per thousand. Sometimes they can add a lot of small junk fees which can add up. If you have not closed yet, I would try and negotiate with the escrow company on their fees. They are not in control of what the title or lender charges. Also included a link to an escrow I have used for 20 years. Good luck.
0 votes
Woody Hender…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Concur that you should give Fred Eckert a call.
0 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Newcastle, CA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Hi Joe. While I don't know what your purchase price is, 2% closing cost sounds high. Since your profile says that you are a buyer, I am wondering why it matters which escrow company the listing company chooses. Is the listing company also representing you? I just want to make sure you understand that you as the buyer get to choose the title company and it's not up to your agent or the seller's agent to make that choice for you. Sometimes they may recommend a particular company, but in the end it's still your choice. Since I don't know how far into the escrow you are already, I don't know if switching to a different escrow/title company would be suitable. If switching at this juncture is not feasible, try to negotiate some of the closing costs down. They can't really negotiate the cost of title insurance because those are published rates, but the escrow fees are negotiable. Good luck.
0 votes
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