Who Selects the Escrow Agent?

Much like everything else in a real estate transaction, the parties have the ability to negotiate who will serve as the Escrow Agent. An Escrow Agent is the party or entity that holds any deposits required to be made by the Buyer under their Contract. The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) and Florida Administrative Code requires that the Contract be completed to show who the Escrow Agent is, and provide a name, address and telephone number so that the buyer knows where they need to make their deposit. Either party can select the Escrow Agent by completing the appropriate section of the Contract. Often, the party selecting the Closing/Title Agent fills in their desired Escrow Agent on the first page of the contract.
All attorneys and title companies serving as Escrow Agents are required to follow the same FREC guidelines. When a buyer selects a title company or attorney as the Escrow Agent, FREC regulations require that the Escrow Agent provide verification that deposits have been received in writing to the buyer or the broker representing the buyer within 10 business days of receiving the deposit, the same confirmation is then to be provided to the broker for the seller within 10 business days. In practice, the Escrow Agent will typically provide conformation to both parties, and/or their brokers at one time when the deposit is received.

Often parties feel that selecting the Escrow Agent can benefit them in some way should a dispute arise; for example, a buyer who is not selecting the Closing Agent may insist that their attorney hold the deposits due under the Contract rather than the seller selected Closing Agent, or vice versa. In a recent blog https://berlinpatten.com/whose-deposit-is-it-anyway/) discussing deposit disputes, we clarified that the Closing Agent does not have the ability to unilaterally determine who should receive a deposit that is the subject of a dispute, and instead can either hold the funds until the parties come to an agreement or give the funds to the court system through an interpleader action. So, again regardless of which party selected the Escrow Agent, the same policies and procedures will govern how the deposit is held and both parties receive the same protection.
If you have any questions about this or any other real estate issue, please contact your trusted real estate attorney.

Sincerely,
Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

Article Authored by Natasha Selvaraj, Esq., nselvaraj@berlinpatten.com

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

www.berlinpatten.com

SARASOTA
3700 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 200, Sarasota, FL 34239 P (941) 954-9991 F (941) 954-9992

VENICE
247 Tamiami Trail South, Suite 201, Venice, FL 34285 P (941) 955-9991 F (941) 484-9992

LAKEWOOD RANCH
8433 Enterprise Circle, Suite 100, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 P (941) 907-9022 F (941) 907-9024

TAMPA
442 West Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 312, Tampa, FL 33606 P (813) 467-7500 F (813) 251-1662

Did you find this real estate law content useful, but need actual legal council?

Speak to a real estate attorney!

, ,

Escrow Agents & Deposit Deadlines – Show Me the Money!

How many times do you see contracts with the Escrow Agent section blank or TBD inserted on the line for Escrow Agent?  Do Buyers always make their deposit(s) by the Deposit Deadlines?  This blog will address the Escrow Agent and Deposit Sections under the FR/BAR Residential Contract (the “Contract”) and assume the buyer’s agent is…

Complying with the Escrow Rule

Under Rule 61J2-14.008 of the Florida Administrative Code, a real estate licensee who prepared or presented the contract (“Licensee”) must make sure the contract contains the name, address and phone number of the escrow agent, which applies to all escrow agents, not just attorneys and title companies. The Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Contract forms contain the appropriate blanks…
Menu