Browse F.A.Q. Topics


  • How do fees work?
    The BUYER can generally be expected to pay for:
    • Title Insurance Premium for Lender's Policy
    • Escrow Fee (one half)
    • Document preparation (if applicable)
    • Notary Fees (incurred by Buyer)
    • Recording charges for all documents in buyers names
    • Tax proration (from date of acquisition)
    • All new loan charges (except those required by Lender for seller to pay), interest on new loan from date of funding to 30 days prior to first payment date.
    • Assumption/Change of Records fees for takeover of existing loan
    • Beneficiary Statement Fee for assumption of existing loan (if applicable)
    • Physical Inspection Fees
    • Fire Insurance Premium for first year

    The SELLER can generally be expected to pay for:
    • Real Estate Commission
    • Document preparation fee for Deed
    • Documentary transfer tax ($1.10 per $1000.00 of sales price)
    • Any city Transfer/Conveyance Tax (according to contract)
    • Payoff of all loans in seller's name (or existing loan balance if being assumed by buyer)
    • Interest accrued to lender being paid off, Statement Fees,
    • Reconveyance Fees and any Prepayment Penalties
    • Termite inspection
    • Termite Work
    • Zone Disclosure
    • Home Warranty
    • Government compliance fees (City of LA)
    • Any judgments, tax liens, etc., against the seller
    • Tax proration
    • Any unpaid Homeowners Dues, Transfer Fee, and/or Document Fee
    • Recording charges to clear all documents of record against seller
    • Any bonds or assessments (according to contract)
    • Any and all delinquent taxes
    • Sub-Escrow Fee (a title company fee)
    • Wire Fees
    • Notary Fees (incurred by seller)
    • Escrow Fee (one half)
    • Title Insurance Premium for Owner's Policy

Independent Escrow Companies

  • What are the advantages of using an independent escrow company?
    Click to Enlarge advantages-of-independent-escrow-2017


The Escrow Process

  • How does the sale escrow process work?
    1. Draw escrow instructions according to your agreement.
    2.  Order a preliminary title report (“open an order”) for the property being sold. This report reveals liens of record on the property and is our guideline to assure that title is conveyed with only the liens the buyer agrees to accept.
    3.  Order Statement/Demands from the Lender of record, Homeowner's Association or any other lien holder that affects the title to the property.
    4.  Bills for termite inspection, the home warranty plan, hazard reports, repairs, etc. are collected for payment through escrow. City reports, if applicable, are ordered.
    5.  As soon as the loan documents are delivered, we will estimate the closing costs and call the buyer's Realtor to arrange for an appointment to sign the loan documents and bring in the closing funds. (Some lenders will give us their charges verbally prior to sending documents to us ... if so, we get a head start on the closing procedure.)
    6.  After buyer has signed all loan documents, they are sent to the lender with a request that the loan be funded. YOUR ESCROW HAS NOT YET CLOSED. DEPOSITING CLOSING FUNDS INTO ESCROW DOES NOT CLOSE THE ESCROW... RECORDING THE DEED CLOSES THE ESCROW.
    7.  When the buyer's new loan has been approved, we order the evidence of insurance from the buyer's insurance agent. It is needed prior to the funding of the loan.
    8.  Lenders have different time schedules ... some fund locally and need only a few hours notice to fund and others will need a full day's notice. Some lenders fund out of the county or are funded by another agency and need as much as 2 days notice from the time they receive the signed documents back in their office.
    9.  After a lender verifies that they are in a position to release the loan funds, we call the title company to "set-up" the recording. Recordings are done in Los Angeles County at 8:00 a.m. The title company will re-check the county records the night prior to recording to ensure that no new liens have been recorded since the preliminary title report was issued. On occasion, a new lien will appear and the recording will be "pulled" until a clearance of the new lien can be obtained. The title company will call escrow to confirm recording and give their charges. We then balance the funds of the escrow, type closing statements and disburse funds. Escrow is now closed

Ways of Holding Title

  • What are my options for holding title on real property that I co-own?

    Tenancy in Common

    Joint Tenancy

    Community Property

    Community Property with Right of Survivorship

    Tenancy in Partnership

    Parties Any number of persons (can be husband and wife) Any number of persons (can be husband and wife) Only husband and wife Only husband and wife Only Partners (any number)
    Division Ownership can be divided into any number of interests equal or unequal Ownership interests must be equal Ownership interests are equal Ownership interest is equal Ownership interest is in relation to interest in partnership
    Title Each co-owner has a separate legal title to his undivided interest There is only one title to the whole property There is only one title but each co-owner has a separate interest Title is in the "community".  Each interest is separate Each co-owner's interest is owned in partnership for partnership purposes
    Possession Equal right of possession Equal right of possession Equal right of management and control except in case of personal property used in a business Both co-owners have equal possession Equal right of possession for partnership purposes. No right of possession for any other purpose except by mutual consent.
    Conveyance Each co-owner's interest may be conveyed separately by its owner An conveyance by one of the joint tenants alone breaks the joint tenancy between his interest and the others but does not affect the continuation of the joint tenancy between the interests of any two or more other joint tenants Interests cannot be conveyed separately. Both co-owners must join in conveyance of real property. Either co-owner can transfer personal property. Real property requires written consent of other spouse, and with separate interest cannot be conveyed except upon death Partner's individual interest in specific property cannot be conveyed separately. Any authorized partner can convey the whole partnership title
    Purchaser's Status Purchaser will become a tenant in common with the other co-owners in the property Purchaser will become a tenant in common with the other co-owners in the property Purchaser cannot acquire one co-owner's interest and hold as community property with other co-owner Purchaser can only acquire the whole title unless he becomes a partner
    Death On co-owner's death this interest passes to his devisees under his will or to his heirs. No survivorship right On co-owner's death, his interest ends and cannot be disposed of by will. Survivor owns the property by survivorship. On co-owner's death, 1/2 belongs to survivor in severalty, 1/2 goes by will to decedents devisees or by succession to survivor. On co-owners death the entire tenancy remains to the survivor. This right of survivorship is one of the primary incident of community property with right of survivorship Purchaser can only acquire the whole title unless he becomes a partner
    Successor's Status Devisees or heirs become tenants in common. Last survivor owns property in severalty. If passing by will, tenancy in common between devisee and survivor results. If passing by Will, tenancy in common between devisee and survivor results Devisees or heirs have no rights in specific partnership property.
    Creditor's Rights Co-owner's interest may be sold on execution sale to satisfy his creditor. Creditor becomes a tenant in common. Co-owner's interest may be sold on execution sale to satisfy his creditor. Joint tenancy is broken, creditor becomes tenant in common. Community property is liable for the debt of either co-owner contracted after marriage. Debtor co-owner's interest cannot be sold separately on execution; whole property must be sold to satisfy creditor. Property of community is liable for contracts of either spouse which are made after marriage and prior to or after January 1, 1975.  Co-owner's interest can note be sold separately; whole property may be sold on execution to satisfy creditor Partner's interest cannot be seized or sold separately by his personal creditor, but his share of profits may be obtained by a personal creditor. Whole property may be sold on execution sale to satisfy partnership creditor.
    Presumption Favored in doubtful cases except husband and wife case. Must be expressly stated. Not favored. Strong presumption that property acquired by husband and wife is community. Arise only by virtue of partnership status in specific property held in partnership.