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Asked by Hlep, Los Angeles, CA Mon Dec 31, 2012

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Guy Gleason, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sun Jan 6, 2013
for me, i have closed 9 short-sales this year.............and I am the listing agent so i choose the Escrow need an Escrow company familiar with short-sales who is experienced as anything can come up, and if I choose them Escrow is more under my control................
I have yet to see any lender choose and a short-sale owner is NOT making any profit and no money is coming out of his pocket so the owner would not choose the Escrow company either...unless its a relative............
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Jan 3, 2013
You needn't be concerned about any Escrow company running away with your money. The purpose of Escrow is to place your funds into an account that is a "neutral third party". This is for your protection.
The time to run would be if you had a transaction WITHOUT an escrow company!
0 votes
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Wed Jan 2, 2013
It is all negotiable...usually the seller or seller's agent is negotiable. If your deposit is in escrow, it has to stay there until escrow disburses mutual agreement of all parties.
0 votes
SERGEY FEDNOV…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed Jan 2, 2013
There is no set rules as of to who to choose escrow and title company, however usually it is a seller call. You can negotiate escrow and title company on the purchase agreement when you are submitting your offer.

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0 votes
Rodney Johns…, Agent, Chatsworth, CA
Tue Jan 1, 2013
The buyer and the seller have to agree on the escrow company. It is typical in Southern California that the listing agent will help the seller suggest a good, ethical escrow company for both parties to use. In most short sales, the buyer's deposit is not put with the escrow company until the bank approves the short sale. Once the short sale is approved, then typically your time frames for contingencies will start. The seller's lender will determine, what if any money the seller is entitled to have. It used to be that the banks were not allowing the sellers to have any money from a short sale. In certain cases, the seller is being given moving money at the close; however, that just reduces the net proceeds due to the lender. You will not have to pay extra for this seller benefit. If you have a competent agent representing your interests, your money should be protected.
0 votes
Harold Sharpe, Agent, LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ
Mon Dec 31, 2012
Legally it's negotiable, however realistically here is what happens most of the time....
Usually, the listing agent will be working with an escrow company that assists the listing agent / seller in getting the short sale done. What does that mean and why you should care? The escrow company assisting the listing agent is preparing forms called a HUD 1 to sendoff to the bank so that bank understands the monies involved in the sale. When I list a home for SHORT SALE, while the escrow could be negotiated, for me I want to work with an escrow company that is successful in getting short sales closed. You would be surprised not all escrow companies are the same. Neither is anything else for that matter. Using a successful escrow company is important to getting a deal done and a short sale listing agents knows this is paramount.
You brought up the point the owner / seller may run away with your money.
Well In California Escrow does not work that way. Escrow does what is mutually agreed upon by both buyer and seller. one party can not tell escrow hand me the money and run off with it. that is why there is an escrow company. Escrow is a neutral third party that both parties entrust to handle the deal. Your contract is in fact your escrow instructions. The escrow company reiterates the contract and has you sign escrow instructions.
What you might want to do is,... make sure the escrow company is a neutral company as in NOT TIED TO THE LISTED AGENTS BROKERAGE they are usually next door ect.
I use a Neutral party escrow not tied to any brokerage. All of them claim they are, but most are not.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
0 votes
Douglas Perez, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
Neither one. It's negotiable, but most of the time the listing agent ends up selecting it. Get a real estate professional to represent and protect you.
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Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
Let no your heart be troubled. The seller can not RUN AWAY with your money. Escrow is the financial GATE KEEPER, they will make sure funds are put in the correct hands at the correct time.

As for who chooses escrow company in a short sale, it can be the bank or the seller.

Best of luck to you!
Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
carlos parra…, Other Pro, Monrovia, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
Everything is always negotiable. However, Banks usually prefer to choose Escrow, they usually stae it in their counter offer to you.
0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
On a short sale services are always negotiable but in a low inventory market the listing agent usually influences the seller to go with their preferred escrow company. Both the buyer and seller have a right to choose and negotiate who they want.
Escrow is a third neutral party and can not just "give" your money to the seller. It takes all party signatures to open escrow and cancel escrow. If all parties don't agree they can not release the money without a court order.
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
Typically, the listing agent and seller have the option to choose escrow. With short sales however, the bank has the ability to override any decisions made by the buyer and seller and impose its own terms on the deal.

I've never in my career heard of down payment money going to a always goes to an escrow company.
0 votes
Robert Spino…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Mill Valley, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
Any licensed escrow company would provide a firewall between you and your concern. Their primary purpose is to be a neutral third party which facilitates the handling and exchange of all docuements and funds. If any of your money is in escrow, it would not be disbursed to the owner unless all other contractual requirements were met.
0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
The owner usually.. but is negotiable...

you should be at ease knowing that licensed escrow companies are independent third party companies. They cannot release any funds without your instructions.

Make sure you only give your money to a licensed escrow company. Additionally, why are you asking this question here? Don't you have a buyer;s agent representing you that you trust?
if you do not have a buyer's agent that you trust, you should get one before you think about buying a house which is probably one of the largest investments a person makes.

Good luck!
0 votes
Bill Hooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
Services are selected in the usual fashion. The only item you may receive from the lender is an acceptance granting the short sale at whatever $$ figure they require to close escrow. Your agent should be able to explain this to you.

Best wishes,

Bill Hooper
0 votes
Walter 'Skip'…, Agent, Brea, CA
Mon Dec 31, 2012
The owner or the buyer (with seller's permission) will choose the escrow company. The bank will not.
Good luck,
0 votes
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