Friday, July 21, 2006

How Do They Stay In Business?

I am continually amazed by the fact that escrow companies are able to stay in business. They have about the worst performance record for any industry I have ever dealt with. (And this includes dishonest cabinet makers.) It is even more mind-boggling when you consider all their instructions, every single thing they have to do, is in writing! They cannot do anything based solely on a verbal order. How hard is it to follow written directions?

As of yesterday, I had not received the earnest money deposit from the aborted sale of House 3 that I was told would be coming my way. So this morning, I called the title company to find out what was going on. Neither my title agent nor his assistant had any recollection of speaking to my real estate agent about this. They said they would call me back while they did some research.

About 45 minutes later, they called back telling me they found my fax instructing them to release the deposit to me and asked me for an address to send it to. They also said the amount was $1,000. This is what I thought it was, but whoever my agent spoke to earlier told her it was $500. I never bothered to look up the correct figure on my own, figuring the escrow company wouldn't make a mistake when dealing with actual cash. Anyway, supposedly a check for $1,000 is going out to me today.

But I am still uneasy because the same property is in escrow at the same title company with a new buyer. Their earnest money deposit is also $1,000, so the potential for a mix up is quite large. I made sure they understood that the current escrow was not to be cancelled, just the old one. We'll see how it goes.


monarchcrest said...

Shaun, you have to consistently hound them to get what you want. Things that should be cut & dry seem to drag on all the time. I called every 4 hours for 2 days.

Steve said...

After having two HUD-1's on my personal property and two on House #1 be full of errors (note: all four were at seperate title companies), I pretty much lost faith in how things are managed with them. :-(

Seattle Eric said...

WHOA! I see a major red flag. As was explained to me, if a deal falls through, the seller can't put the property under contract with another buyer until your escrow money is returned. That is FEDERAL LAW. I'll try to get a link to it, but if it's true, the Escrow company is complicit with the sellers in breaking federal law (you, of course, are innocent)

Shaun said...

This is how I found out I had escrow money coming back to me. We went to open the new escrow and they said there was already one open. That's when I needed to fax them a letter telling them to release the deposit money to me and close the first escrow. (I'm the seller and the previous buyers were in breach of contract.)

Anesia said...

How do they stay in business? 90% go with the flow and pay all of their crazy fees. They make enough off fees to keep all the cooks in the kitchen!

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