What Is Escrow In Real Estate – Here’s What You Need To Know!

What Is Escrow In Real Estate – Here’s What You Need To Know!

Escrow, as with tax certificates, is central to real estate transactions in most cases. It plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and secure process for both buyers and sellers. Whether you're a seasoned investor or a first-time homebuyer, understanding how escrow in real estate works is essential. Let’s discover the answer to questions like “What is escrow in real estate” and more.

We’ll uncover the escrow definition in real estate and its purpose, thus exploring its role as a safeguard for all parties involved. You can pay your mortgage via escrow in house real estate, but should you? Let’s find out about this and more!

What Is An Escrow Account And How Does It Work

Let’s begin with the escrow definition in real estate. In an escrow account, a neutral third party holds and manages funds or other assets on behalf of two parties involved in a transaction. In this case, the meaning of an escrow in a real estate account is like that of an intermediary between the home seller and home buyer (or for any other real estate, for that matter).

Escrow is commonly used in real estate, mortgage, and business deals to ensure a transparent process. So, how does escrow work? Well, it’s simple! First, the buyer deposits the agreed-upon funds into the account. The escrow agent verifies that all terms and conditions are met and then releases said funds to the seller.

In essence, your escrow in a real estate account acts as a protective measure. It assures both the buyer and seller that the transaction will proceed smoothly. Escrow in real estate also helps prevent fraud by ensuring that all parties fulfill their obligations.

The escrow agent releases the funds only when all the terms and conditions are met.

Of course, escrow in real estate is only part of the picture.

Escrow accounts are also used in the following:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Other large financial transactions
  • Legal settlements

And so on…

Types Of Escrow Accounts

As we just discussed, the idea and definition of escrow extend beyond property purchases (paying mortgages, property taxes, and insurance premiums). So, there are several types of escrow accounts for different situations.

Here’s our rundown of the types of escrow you need to know about:

Mortgage Escrow Account

Let’s begin with the most commonly used option – what is escrow on a mortgage? Your lender will set up a mortgage escrow in a real estate account for you during the loan closing process. This account will remain active throughout the loan's duration.

Your part is simple – make monthly payments to the lender, including property taxes and homeowners' insurance. The mortgage company keeps its due and releases the rest of the funds when taxes and insurance payments are due.

This ensures timely payments and eases budgeting for homeowners.

Non-Real Estate Escrow Accounts

Of course, you can also use escrow, as a financial agreement, outside of buying or selling properties. Non-real estate escrow accounts find their uses in various other business transactions.

Here are some examples:

  • Renters Escrow Account

A renter's non-real estate escrow account binds the landlords to make good on their part of the agreement. After all, who can go through relocation over and over? Renters place their rent with the non-real estate escrow account manager, who releases it to the landlord only when repairs or improvements are completed.

  • Escrow Accounts For Online Shopping

Non-real estate escrow accounts have also gained popularity in online shopping transactions. Here, they protect both buyers and sellers. Once again, the basic principle is the same – buyers place the payment into an escrow account, which then holds the funds until the shipped item is received. 

After that, the funds are released to the seller.

  • Escrow Accounts For Stocks

You can also hold stocks in non-real estate escrow accounts during mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, or reorganizations. This way, your assets will be managed by a trusted third party. You can also use escrow for stock awarded to employees.

Pros And Cons Of Escrow Accounts

Now that you know what escrow means in real estate and how it affects homebuyers and sellers, let’s explore the pros and cons:


Escrow accounts in real estate eliminate the need for setting aside funds for property taxes and homeowners' insurance on your part. That’s a relief, right? Plus, monthly payments to the mortgage escrow in the real estate account ensure timely bill payments. Homeowners also don't need to manage separate accounts for tax and insurance payments.

Overall, having homes in escrow provides peace of mind.


The main drawback of escrow in real estate is that you’ll have to relinquish control over the funds. You’ll have to pay bills in advance and may thus miss out on investment opportunities. And since you'll be handling bills indirectly, it can lead to individual costs.

But overall, it’s a pretty fair deal!

Next, let's move on to the behind-the-curtain aspect of the matter, including the escrow steps.

Who Manages An Escrow Account?

Your escrow accounts are usually managed by a neutral third party known as escrow agents. So, what does an escrow company do? The escrow agent or company ensures that all parties involved in a transaction comply with the agreed-upon terms and conditions.

What is the escrow process, you may ask?

Well, here it is:

  • The agent receives and holds funds, documents, and instructions.
  • They wait until all requirements are met.
  • The escrow agent must safeguard both the buyer's and seller's interests.
  • They conduct necessary verifications.
  • After this, as soon as they get the all-clear, they initiate the transfer of assets.

It’s that simple – plus, very transparent!

Escrow Fees And How It Works

So, what is included in escrow fees?

Escrow fees are charged for the services provided by the escrow company or agent. These fees are usually a percentage of the total transaction amount. What is included in escrow fees may vary based on the complexity of the deal and local regulations.

The escrow fees are calculated as a percentage of the transaction amount

They may also include additional charges for specific services rendered.

But who has to pay them?

This is usually specified in the purchase agreement or contract. In real estate transactions, it can be either the buyer, seller, or split between both parties.

And lastly, what is the period you are in escrow?

Well, it’s until your agreement comes to a close.

Benefits Of Escrow

Let’s take a look at the benefits of the escrow process in real estate:

  • Escrow in real estate ensures a secure and transparent process.
  • It safeguards the interests of all parties involved in a transaction.
  • Escrow accounts in real estate streamline bill, tax, and insurance premium payments.
  • The escrow agent will ensure that all conditions are met before the funds are released.
  • Escrow agents maintain impartiality and remain fair and unbiased.
  • It’s simply convenient.

CertSimple USA Is Here To Make Real Estate Simple For You!

Now that you know all about escrow, you’re probably wondering what your next move should be. Well, partnering with a family-owned and customer-centric real estate closing company should be at the top of that list! CertSimple USA is just that. We offer the fastest turnaround times to ensure efficient services.

Not sure about the “escrow meaning in real estate?”

Or have any other confusion?

No worries, just reach out to us!

We have a live and local team of experienced professionals. Customer service and support are only a phone call/email away! We offer a 100% accuracy guarantee to provide you with peace of mind throughout. CertSimple is the go-to choice for a stress-free closing process.

Contact us now at (800) 806-3639 or Info@CertSimpleUSA.com for expert solutions!



What is escrow on the house?

Having an escrow on the house, or escrow in real estate, is an arrangement where a neutral third party holds and manages funds during a real estate transaction. This way, you can ensure a secure and transparent process. This arrangement protects both the buyer and seller until all conditions are met.

What is the period you are in escrow?

The period you are in escrow in real estate, or the escrow period, varies from case to case. It starts once the seller accepts the buyer's offer. During this time, the escrow agent completes all necessary inspections, appraisals, and paperwork leading up to the final closing of the property.

What does it mean to be in escrow?

Being in escrow in real estate means that the transaction is in progress. This happens when both the buyer and seller have accepted the agreed-upon terms. A neutral escrow agent holds the funds, documents, and instructions (before releasing) until all contractual conditions are satisfied.