Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

Here are answers to many frequently asked questions regarding the escrow process.

Have Other Questions? Contact Us »

 

What is Escrow?

Escrow is a neutral third party service that handles the transfer of property from one person to another. They handle deposits of funds, documents, ensures the lender releases the home purchase funds, and the deed is recorded to legally transfer/convey the real property to the new owner.

The Escrow Agent works on behalf of the buyer and seller using the instructions from the purchase and sale agreement. They have a fiduciary responsibility to be transparent and remain neutral throughout the transaction.

What is a closing Statement?

A closing statement is a standardized form used across the US that itemizes the services and fees charged to buyers and sellers when purchasing or refinancing a home.

What is Recording?

Recording is the filing documents with the government, usually the County, to publicly document property tiles and interests, or other real estate related matters.

How do FHA MOrtgages Affect Closing?

FHA loans are little different than conventional loans. Even though FHA loans have no prepayment penalty they do have an accrual of interest for an early payoff.

When paying off FHA Loans, the payoff funds must be received by the lender no later than the installment due date (usually the first day of the month).  If the lender receives payoff after the first day of the month they charge interest for the whole month.  Example, if the lender is receiving the loan payoff amount after the 1st, then you are responsible to pay interest for the whole month, not just for 2 days.

How Do Lines of Credit or 2nd Mortgages Affect Closing?

Your loan could be subject to a pre-payment penalty or an early termination fee. The fee varies from bank to bank, please contact your lender concerning any early payoff fees you may be subject to.

WHat do I need to Bring For My Appointment?

Bring photo identification:

  • State ID or Drivers License.
  • Passport issued by the US or Foreign government.
  • ID issued by any branch of US armed forces.

Bring bank routing and account information:

  • Buyers need this for setting up automatic mortgage payments.
  • Sellers need this to receive proceeds from their home sale.

Can I use A Personal Check At my closing Appointment?

No, we cannot accept personal checks.  Funds for closing must be wired or as cashiers check.  We can provide you the info you need to wire funds if that is the method you prefer. Cashiers checks must be made payable to Point Escrow. It must be drawn on a Washington State bank account and deposited with us 24 hours prior to closing escrow.

What is Washington STate Excise Tax?

When real estate is sold in the State of Washington, it is subject to excise tax, which is a lien on your title policy.  Washington State excise tax is 1.78% of the sales price of the property.  IE. if the sale price is $500,000, the tax would be $8,900.00.

How do Home Owners Associations Affect Closing?

When you are selling a property located in a Homeowners Association (HOA) or Planned Unit Development (PUD), it can be subject to a transfer and/or departure fee. If you’re selling a condo or townhouse, it could be subject to fees from both the HOA and the PUD.  Be sure to contract your HOA to determine what fees you may be responsible for.  In addition, most HOA fees are required to be paid up front before closing as the HOA will not accept payment from us at closing.

What about Sewer Capacity Charges or similar assessments?

The purchase and sale agreement has options for sewer capacity charges to be either assumed by the buyer, or prepaid in full by seller at closing.  Be sure you know what you agreed to on your contract.

King County has a sewer capacity charge that affects King County as well as parts of Snohomish and Pierce Counties. King County has an informative FAQ about it at this link.