What is Escrow?

The escrow process is an important final step in many real estate transactions. But what is escrow?

 A house in the escrow process

Escrow is when two parties deposit funds and documents to an impartial third party. These funds and documents set the terms and conditions for the transfer of property ownership. The escrow holder delivers the funds and documents upon completion of the terms of the escrow instruction.

The escrow process is mainly carried out by the escrow holder and real estate agents. Documents are “in escrow” when the parties deliver documents and money to the impartial escrow holder. We may also say the parties have “opened an escrow”.The escrow holder keeps the documents and funds for further delivery until the parties meet certain conditions. Each of the principals of the escrow (Seller, Buyer, Lender) will give the escrow holder written instructions setting out the conditions for further delivery.

The purpose of an escrow.

An escrow is commonly used to enable the parties in a real estate transaction to deal with each other with less risk. The escrow holder acts as:

  • Custodian for funds and documents.
  • A clearing house for payment of all demands.
  • An agency to perform the clerical details for settlement of the accounts between the parties.
A typical escrow transaction.

The escrow process begins with the Realtor® opening the order for title work. The Realtor® also provides the Purchase Agreement and all executed documentation to escrow. Once received, your escrow holder will prepare a preliminary report. Upon receipt of the preliminary report, an analysis determines the necessary action and documents required to complete the transaction:

  • Demands for satisfaction of liens not acceptable to Buyer and/or Lender.
  • Documents for recording.
  • Instructions and requirements of the new Lender.

In most areas, the information gathered from an escrow prepares Buyer and Seller instructions for signature. The escrow is “in perfection” when it meets all the title and financial requirements and the instructions from all parties are fully complied with. Once the financial settlement takes place, the escrow holder records the documents and issues the title insurance policies.


A real estate agent can make better sense of the escrow process for you. Linda Archie has the professional expertise to make your home buying or selling experience stress-free and fun! Learn more about Linda Archie and her real estate team or contact her.

Real Estate Tax Breaks for Senior Citizens

Linda & her professional network of associates can save you thousands through real estate tax breaks. We stay informed about the latest tax breaks, investment tools & special circumstances. We work with seniors, investors, first-time buyers & others. Contrary to popular belief, most people can largely benefit from their real estate investment.

One example of special real estate tax breaks that apply only to 55+ year-old individuals:

Under Proposition 60/90, California property owners who are 55 years or older may qualify for the ability to transfer the assessed value of their sold principal residence (Property (A))to their purchased new residence (Property (B)). If you think you qualify for either of these real estate tax breaks, call us!

Proposition 60/90 allows, for qualified owners, the ability to transfer the assessed values with inter-country (60) as well as different county (90) properties in the State of California.

In addition to the application, the county Assessor’s office will require a copy of the tax bill for Property (A), the applicant’s birth certificate, a copy of the grant deed for Property (B) as well as closing statements for both properties.

Summary of Eligibility Requirements for California Real Estate Transfer Prop 60/90

  • The owner of the principal residence, or a spouse residing with the seller, is at least 55 years of age as of the date that the original property transferred.
  • The replacement property (B) is of equal or lesser “current market value” than the original Property (A).
  • The base year values of the original Property (A) cannot transfer to the replacement Property (B) until the original Property (A) sells.
  • Purchase of the replacement Property (B) or newly constructed property is within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original Property (A).
  • The owner must file an application within three years following the purchase date or new construction completion date of the replacement Property (B)
  • This is a one-time only filing. The state cannot grant Proposition 60/90 relief if the owner, or spouse, received relief in the past.
  • Proposition 60/90 relief includes, but is not limited to, single family residences, condominiums, units in planned unit developments, co-operative housing corporation units or lots, community apartment units, mobile homes subject to local real property tax, and owners’ living premises which are a portion of a larger structure.
  • The taxpayer is not eligible for the tax relief until they actually own and occupy the replacement dwelling as their principal residence.

If you have any questions regarding California Proposition 60/90, the property tax office for all the counties in California is located in Sacramento and may be reached by calling 916-445-4982.

Give us a chance to exceed your expectations by calling 805-558-8157 for a Free Consultation.

Additional Resources for Home Sellers

Selling your home can be stressful. Where do I start? What is Home Advice for Selling Your Homemy home worth? How can I make my home more valuable? What is the best way to attract buyers? These may be just a few of the questions you have when it comes to selling your home. Getting reliable home advice is always helpful. Below are some resources to help answer some of your questions and, hopefully, ease some of your worries.

Resources and Home Advice for Sellers:


Pricing your home.

Free Quick Online Home Evaluation: Find out what your home is worth by answering a few easy questions.

Pricing your Home: Learn more about home value and the research you can do to price your home effectively.

How to Read Housing Market Stats: A breakdown of economic jargon that can make the housing market confusing and difficult to understand.

4 Secrets to Selling a Home Over Asking Price: Advice to help you get more for your home.

Marketing your home.

Marketing your Home: After establishing a list price with your real estate agent, it is important to market your home so it sells as quickly as possible.

Home Staging: What is home staging? How can it benefit you?

What Is an Open House? A Chance For Sellers to Showcase Their Home: Learn more about open houses and how they can boost your selling prospects.

Tips and advice.

Tips for First Time Home Sellers: A list of tips that are specifically for first time sellers. These tips from experienced sellers help first time sellers understand the market and prioritize properly to ensure fast effective selling.

13 Tips for Selling Your Home: Home advice from Reader’s Digest to help you sell your home.

Selling your Home Quickly: Learn more about selling your home quickly, especially if you have time restraints for selling your home.

Selling your home is an exciting and sometimes challenging time for everyone. Experienced real estate agents can take a lot of the stress out of the process. Finding a local agent who is not only professionally experienced but knows the area well is the first step to effectively selling your home. Linda Archie is a great choice for anyone in the Thousand Oaks/Ventura County area. She is not only an experienced professional, she is also a local who knows her way around real estate in Ventura County specifically. Learn more about her and her real estate team here.

Moving Seniors Forward

In 2008, I co-founded the community resource group Moving Seniors Forward for 50+ individuals. Our hope is that we can help you can take care of business quickly and easily, so you can get back to what really matters. We are a senior resource group for providing 50+ individuals with reliable services.


Our Mission

We are dedicated and compassionate professionals who provide quality services and information. Often, seniors are unaware of their options; we offer a senior resource group and dedication to helping people over 50. We are always committed to enhancing the lives of seniors and their families in our community.


What We OfferMoving Seniors Forward, Senior Resource Group

  1. Ease of Access to each participating member
  2. Knowledge and Experience
  3. Assistance
  4. Viable options
  5. Educational Seminars

Links to MSF Directory

With 25 members, “Moving Seniors Forward” covers several different disciplines. Professionals who are affiliated with the “Moving Seniors Forward” are known to provide quality services, products and information to enhances lives today for a better tomorrow. We have included links to some of our most requested senior resource group services, but for a free copy of our most recent member directory, please send me an email or give me a call. We appreciate the opportunity to serve the 50+ community and look forward to hearing from you soon.


If you’re 50+ you can trust in us!