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do buyers and sellers have to use the same escrow company in FloridaDo buyers and sellers have to use the same escrow company in Florida?

Do Buyers and Sellers Have To Use the Same Escrow Company in Florida?

09 Apr 2021

When buying a home in Florida, you will likely hear a lot of terms that may sound odd at first, such as “title,” “title search,” and “escrow,” among others. 

 

In this sense, being guided by a title and escrow company in Florida can be an advantage during real estate transactions in Florida.  In addition to clarifying the meaning of each term, a title and escrow company will take care of all aspects related to the closing of the transaction. 

 

However, is it necessary that the buyer and seller involved in a real estate transaction have the same escrow company in Florida? Keep reading and you will discover the answer. 

 

Back to Basics – What Does the Term “Escrow” Mean in Florida Real Estate? 

 

In the real estate jargon, the term “escrow” refers to a contractual arrangement in which a third party is hired to handle the property transaction, including the exchange of money/documents between the buyer and seller.

 

Once both parties have reached a fair agreement, they can proceed to find a reliable escrow company. 

 

Then, an escrow officer will be responsible for handling many things in the process, such as transferring the buyer’s loan documents, holding property taxes, and also handling the necessary paperwork to complete the transaction. 

 

Many individuals tend to rely on an expert escrow company as a way to ease the process of buying/selling a property in Florida, especially to secure funds related to the transaction and to handle the paperwork.

 

Are the Parties Involved in a Real Estate Transaction Required to Use an Escrow Company? 

 

In Florida, neither a buyer nor a seller involved in a real estate transaction is legally required to utilize the services of an escrow company. 

 

Nonetheless, many people wisely opt to do so, as the process of buying/selling a property in Florida may not be as easy as it seems. An expert escrow company relies on lawyers who know the real estate business in detail and will help to facilitate the closing of a property. 

 

Do the Buyer and Seller Have To Use the Same Escrow Company? – In Detail 

 

Firstly, it is necessary to understand what the terms “title company” and “escrow company” actually mean. In Florida, both terms are frequently used interchangeably. Yet, they do not mean the same thing. 

 

An escrow company holds the money and all essential documents associated with a real property closing. On the other hand, a title company is mostly responsible for making title searches and issuing title insurance policies. 

 

A buyer and a seller involved in a real estate transaction are allowed to choose different escrow companies, but they rarely do so. 

 

Commonly, the buyer and seller use only one escrow company while employing distinct title companies. This type of arrangement is referred to as a “split closing”. 

 

The term “split closing” means that two distinct title companies are involved in a single transaction, which includes issuing title insurance policies when necessary. 

 

As provided by the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) Section 9, sellers are not allowed to require the use of a specific title insurance company as a condition of the sale. The buyer has the right to choose a title company to issue the policies.

 

Nonetheless, every rule has its exceptions. In case the seller pays for both title insurance policies (the owner’s policy and the lender’s policy), he/she is allowed to use the title company of their choice, and vice-versa.

 

Why Choosing Different Title and Escrow Companies May Not Be the Ideal Approach in Florida 

 

Distinct companies mean that there are more individuals involved, which makes the process more complicated to assess and control. Plus, it is impossible to align utterly different companies in terms of efficiency, productivity, work ethic, and market experience. 

 

Instead, the best approach is to work with a company that offers both services under a single roof. This approach will ensure a more streamlined experience and a smoother closing process. 

 

At Marina Title, we offer a range of title and escrow services that permit us to easily walk you through the closing process. Additionally, we have years of experience in the real estate industry in Florida, which gives us a competitive edge. 

 

Our team consists of seasoned real estate lawyers that are experts in title and escrow services, including title searches, judgment/lien searches, title insurance policies, and more. 

 

Do You Need an Expert Title and Escrow Company in Florida? – Work with Marina Title 

 

Closing a property in Florida can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Waste no time with uncertainty. Call us today at (305) 901-5628 or email us at Romy@MarinaTitle.com to schedule an initial consultation.

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