The home buying process can be an exciting but time consuming process for anyone who is in the market hoping to buy their dream house.
After all the dust has settled and buyer and seller are in accordance and have agreed on terms, there are still several more steps before a new homeowner can move into their new home.
One of these steps lies in the hands of an Escrow Officer, also known as a Loan Officer.
An escrow account holds funds or a deed made by one party that will not be delivered to the second party until all legal matters are completed and all instructions are met by both groups.
It is a safety measure used to make sure the exchange of assets is not made until every party has fulfilled their responsibility in the home buying process.
Escrow Officers are considered a neutral third party and are typically employed by a title company.
Their main purpose is to manage the escrow process making sure funds or deeds aren’t exchanged until finalization is complete.
An Escrow Officer handles all the paperwork and procedures related to the closing process before the finalization of a real estate deal.
Some typical responsibilities include organizing and preparing the final paperwork, researching home titles, serves as an observer for documentation signatures and assuring that all the final steps for the transaction are done appropriately and according to law.
Education Requirements to Become an Escrow Officer
The minimum education requirement in order to become an Escrow Officer for certain companies is having a high school diploma or equivalent.
A candidate with a Bachelor’s degree in the field and knowledge of all concepts, procedures and practices is an alternative option to becoming an Escrow Officer in the commercial field.
Candidates with high school diplomas must supplement their diploma with work experience in the field, possibly as an Escrow Assistant.
Someone who wants to become an Escrow Officer should plan on working as an Escrow Assistant for at least 3 to 4 years before they can work as an Officer; three of those years should be specifically working as an Escrow Assistant.
Some skills that are sure to strengthen a candidate’s background include having great communication skills, basic computer skills, be able to read legal documentation, ability to write correspondence or reports and have some basic math skills such as algebra and geometry proficiency.
In order to become an Escrow Officer, a candidate will also need to seek certification.
Certification rules and regulations vary by state and candidates will need to get approval from the state they wish to work in.
A national organization that can provide information is American Escrow Association.
Visit their website for more information: AEA
Escrow Officer Job Description
Escrow Officers get involved in the home buying process during the final stages.
They are responsible for setting up new escrow accounts and processing documentation according to previously established policies and procedures.
Escrow Officers also have the responsibility to provide escrow information to all parties involved.
They are in charge of the documentation, assets and home titles and distribute the information after finalization is complete.
All specifications need to be met before the escrow is allowed to be closed.
A more specific job description can be read below.
- Communicate with lenders, buyers, sellers and borrowers in order to prepare documentation for finalization
- Opens, processes and maintains escrow account according to instructions
- Deposits monetary funds into escrow account and maintains records of all transactions
- Assist in safeguarding funds and documentation
- Finalizes real estate escrow deals after establishing whether requirements were met
- Is involved in clearing titles; prepares, collects and evaluates closing documents
- Attends closings and delivers closing documents and other related materials
Escrow Officers can handle several escrow accounts and clients simultaneously.
They must be organized and knowledgeable about the home closing process.
They typically follow up after a closing and maintain documentation of any communications.
Escrow Officer Salary and Career Path
The national median income for Escrow Officers is approximately $41,000 annually with a range of $23,800 to $69,000 per year.
Salary depends on years of experience and expertise as well as location and whether a loan officer works for a Federal branch or a private company.
The job outlook looks promising and is expected to grow at an average pace at 10% throughout the next decade.
This growth is attributed to economic expansion and population growth.