Home Buying in 90027>Question Details

Joseph Rubbak, Home Buyer in 90027

who chose escrow company- buyer or seller? we have attorneys in East Cost... who draw contract- agent for buyer or for seller?

Asked by Joseph Rubbak, 90027 Thu Mar 31, 2011

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All of the answers that tell you that "the seller chooses the escrow and title" are incorrect. No buyer can ever be forced to use the escrow or title that the seller chooses. Banks, especially, have gotten in real trouble with the legislature, who moved to make it "buyer's choice" on escrow and title. How do banks get around this? By agreeing, via addendum, to let buyer select services IF they will pay seller's cost of same. Most buyers will not take on the added burden of seller's closing costs, so they acquiesce and use the seller's choice of services.
SERVICES, like any other point in the contract, ARE COMPLETELY NEGOTIABLE. Neither agent, nor the seller, can dictate. That's wht those lines in the CAR contract are left blank...so the buyer can make an informed choice in HIS offer.
In the real world, in a multiple offer situation, the buyer may be compelled to accept the seller's choice of services. More often than not, it's the AGENT, not the seller, pressuring the seller to chose a particular service provider.
Deborah Bremner
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) 818.564.6591
(C) 310-422-4288
Accredited Buyer Representative|Certified Distressed Property Expert |Pre-Foreclosure Specialist Certified
I want you to know that I appreciate any referrals from friends and associates who may be in the market to buy or sell real estate. You can count on me giving them the same high-quality service I provide to all of my clients.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi Deborah,
I just have this issue related to seller's choice title and found your comment first. So I want to say Hello from Truckee, and good comment. I agree with it all. Prices are still flat in Truckee but finally the inventory is moving and we have less on the market. That means prices should rise next year. We are having a great year, despite down prices. Interest rates are great and we have closed 80 transaction Year to Date.
Hope this greeting finds you well. Please say hello if you are up in the are skiing this season. I have a transferrable ski pass I would be happy to share with you or your daughter.
Best regards,
Christy Curtis.
Flag Mon Sep 24, 2012
In California, it is customary that the seller chooses services such as escrow and title, however it is completely negotiable in the contract. On the East Coast the attorneys do most of the closings, however the standard here in California is to have an escrow company "they are a neutral 3rd party that handles all the money pertaining to the contract" and title-they insure the buyer will receive title clear of all liens when the property closes. Do you have a realtor in California representing you? If you do they should be able to recommend which will work best for you. If you need a couple of recommendations, feel free to contact me anytime.

Have a great day,
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Seller normally chooses the escrow company, but technically the buyer has the right to choose to purchase title insurance from any company of their choice. Although the title companies are very very competitive with rates, most of the escrow companies will already be working with one particular title co & will automatically be using them already to pull the preliminary title report.

562-430-3053 cell
Realtor Since 1996
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
In real estate, everything is negotiable. But customarily, Seller ends up selecting the escrow company.

Have a blessed day!

Web Reference: http://cashrealty.net
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
good answer Doug
Flag Fri Feb 28, 2014
In Los Angeles, buyers typically work with an agent and that agent writes up the contract for them based on their own desires. Though Title and Escrow are often selected by the seller, as stated by others here, they are negotiable. You can have your agent write in whatever Title and Escrow companies you prefer as part of your original purchase offer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Most often the Seller choses. I definitely recommend you have a local realtor work on the transaction. It will save you time and money and ensure the transaction gets done.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
It's a matter of agreement between the parties. Either party may object to an Escrow or Title Company.

Let's hope the attorney knows what he/she is doing, if the transaction is in California and the attorney practices in the east coast.

Best to have a Licensed Real Estate Broker handle your transaction!

And that's what we do... : )

Hopet this helps!
Web Reference: http://www.brucejay.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
the agent for the buyer draws up contract. Escrow co. is negotiable, However, the seller usually chooses the title co., because they have to pay for it.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Either side can choose... that is negotiated during the contract, however, it is customary that the Seller chooses the escrow and title...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Being from the east coast, I know how you feel! When I arrived in SoCal I was surprised that there was no real estate attorney involved either. But to answer your question, the seller typically picks the escrow company but like everything else, of course you can negotiate this. I typically don't recommend sticking your heels in over the escrow company though if there are bigger issues at stake. Best of luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
In California, the usual thing is that the seller has choice of Escrow and Title.
Of course, it is possible to negotiate, this if you have an issue with the choice of either, which I never experienced with any client (but it's possible).

Commission is also negotiable as are some other aspects in the California Purchase agreement. Your Buyer Agent will go over all issues with you and assit you in completing the Purchase Agreement.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Hi Joseph,
If you are the buyer , you give an offer to buy the house; therefore you and your agent by extension, write up the residential purchase contract. That makes sense, you make an offer and you write it. You want something, therefore you ask for it.
Later on, the seller might want something from you, for example, he would want you to remove contingencies on the deal. If seller requests from you, he writes it up, in this case : a notice to perform.
That is for answering the question of WHO draws the contract. As you will see, the contract is quite lengthy to protect all parties and it is generated by both parties in turns. Some papers are send to buyer from seller and some papers are send from buyer to seller.
Please ask your agent to explain things to you, you are signing important papers and you should know what they are and why you are signing them.

As far as who chooses the escrow, it can be either party. In general I do insist in choosing the escrow company. Some cases can be quite delicate and if you are in close contact with the escrow officer , it can save you a lot of trouble and headaches.
In our office we had an agent who send a counter 7 times in order to have the right to pick the escrow company. And it paid because he got it! It used to be that seller chose the escrow company, but now the buyer has the same right, so you can fight it, it you have good reasons to fight about it.
The main thing is that the escrow company should be 1) trustworthy and 2) capable and professionally very responsible. I f you are not sure, investigate.
I use West Coast Escrow Company, which is an affiliate of Coldwell Banker. I highly recommend them.

I hope that you have a good transaction and that everything goes well...

Muriel Levin, Realtor at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
C.N., HAFA Short Sale and Foreclosure Certified
Votre agent immobilier a Los Angeles et dans la region Californie

(323) 363 91 40

If you happen to be in a conversation with a friend , neighbor or family member and you hear that they have some real estate need, please put me in touch with them so that I can help them.
Web Reference: http://www.muriellevin.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 1, 2011
Always deal from a position of strength. If you're the party with the money you make the rules as far as I'm concerned. You choose the escrow company if you wish. If you don't care let the seller choose. In the end game the escrow company is a neutral party so it really shouldn't be a deal breaker. Save your attorneys for the things that really matter.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
In a "Seller's" market it was very common for the seller to state..."Seller chooses Services," however this is a different market now. Honestly speaking, the buyer spend more time at escrow during the transaction, so to me it is critical that the location (and the Escrow Officer) are more important to the buyer than the seller! It is appropriate for the agents (listing & selling) to split the choice of escrow and title. Just FYI, escrow fees are split 50/50 between both parties, based on the sale value of the property. The majority of the title fees are paid by the seller to provide clear title to the home which ensures that it can be sold for full market value!

I hope this helps you.

Bill Hooper
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
I am purchasing a co-op and the agent wrote on the offer about the title and escrow: 50/50 each pay their own. I understand that I will not get a title, but a "share". Since there is no title, there is no search of prelim, etc... right? Am I better off paying my own escrow costs? Or am I better splitting 50/50 of the total cost of the escrow? The sale is only 50K in Los Angeles. My agent said they charge 2/1000 plus min $750. Isn't this too high? Any referral is welcomed!
Flag Sat Nov 24, 2012
Welcome to the west coast :) Things are very different here.No attorneys ,just agents and escrow.The agent representing you will write the offer and submit it to the listing agent on your behalf. Your agent can request a specific escrow company or give seller the choice of designating services.It's up to you.
I hope this helps! Feel free to call or text with questions.
Kenya Costa
Keller Williams Realty Lid Feliz
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
This should be negotiated by actual "Buyer" and "Seller" not the "Listing" and "Selling" agent. Most of the time negotiating of services are rarely done by the end clients. Rarely are the pros and cons of the servicing company presented to the clients involved in a transaction. On the MLS you customary see "Seller to select/choose all services" but do they really? Most of the time the seller has no idea who/why these services are being selected. I always thought that the MLS should say "Listing Agent" to select all services as this is the case most of the time. Unless we actually have written approval from the seller choosing the services we shouldn't advertise them saying so..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
They are always negotiable. The banks play hardball though. They say you can choose but then they will renogotiate who pays what if you don't go with theirs. Before you agree to to an escrow and title have them provide their fees.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Usually, the seller picks the escrow service, but that can be negotiated before signing the purchase contract. Depending on the state that you are in, there may be a general purchase contact that is accepted by real estate professional in that state.
Web Reference: http://www.KobiCosta.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi Joseph,

it is completely negotiable in the contract. However it may complicate the deal,
depending on how the seller feels about this.

Please feel free to contact me at (310) 584-7721 if you have questions. I would be happy to answer any questions.

Daniel Castiel
GoldStar Realty
(310) 584-7721
BRE #01023338
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 10, 2015
How I find out which bank own my property
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 8, 2015
A real estate broker may not nominate an escrow holder/agent as a condition precedent to a transaction, but may suggest an escrow holder/agent, if requested to do so by the principals to the transaction. The buyer in the real estate sales transaction generally makes the selection of the escrow holder/agent and the title insurance
company intending to issue the title insurance coverage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 20, 2015
I am a Realtor in Kentucky, in my area it is customary that the buyer choose the title/escrow company or attorney they would like to use. If it is a cash deal, it is completely up to the buyer since they are usually the one paying all of the closing costs, if it is a loan, the lenders usually have attorneys or title companies that they use, but I always ask who that is and make sure it is ok with my buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 26, 2013
Its negotiable. Just make sure your attorneys are completely knowledgeable of the California housing laws if you are buying in California. Its better to have very specific lawyers to handle your transaction therefore you can be protected.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
seller chooses, respectfully ones that actually work for living, not talk on the phone as they wait for their friends to show up with your paperworks after an hour lunch (I am not making this up). Those of you east coast reading some of these posts, this might be a shock for you. But for some of us that has to deal with about 9 different languages at a time.... This is everyday instances. Find the one that actually works and that should be your escrow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
Escrow and title are normally chosen by the sellers on the West Coast. However, everything is negoitiable on the contract. On the East coast attorneys handle the closings..

Katherine Johnson
Prudential California Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 1, 2012
The seller will usually pick the escrow company, but there are variations between North and South California in regards to the costs paid by buyer/seller.

Your real estate agent will know what is customary in your area.

Daniel Klein
Over 1 Billion Sold
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
The contract should be standard for the area the Realtor works in, but if the selling agent wishes to use a certain contract they can, it is your Realtor's job to make sure you understand all that is on that contract before you sign, so as to be sure you agree to something you truly do not wish to agree to! You as a buyer want to be sure that what you saw in the house when you decided to make offer is what is going to be in the house when you get the keys at closing. Do not assume anything, be sure that the appliances are included and all else you saw, be sure to make note of model and make of items you were lead to believe were part of the sale, Escrow Companies are usually the choice of the seller, since they expect escrow money to be paid at time of offer and deposited into an account within 3 days. If you have a reason for wanting to use another title company for closing, you may do so if all agree, and escrow will be released on day of closing by whichever company took the escrow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
Just like everything else, it's negotiable.
Couple of other interesting facts.....
The seller can negotiate you to use their Mortgage Broker, their home warranty company and their termite company. And, if you don't like it, they will sell to someone else or you could always buy another home .

Check out tips and pointers on my website below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 4, 2011
Hi, I don't know if you meant East Coast, but in Massachusetts and Rhode Island there is no "escrow company" per say. The escrow is held in an escrow account beling to the listing broker (company not agent). Not sure about the rest but that is what is done here. Also lawyers do the closings, not title companies. Just FYI. Not even sure if this is the area that you're asking about.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Thanks for the "best answer" nod, Joseph. Happy to help!
Debbie Bremner
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
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