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What is a real estate escrow?

I heard every buyer needs one when purchasing a home.

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Sellers Generally Pay:

* Real estate commission
* Document transfer tax ($1.10 per $1,000 of sales price)
* Notary fees
* Property tax proration (to date of acquisition)
* Special delivery/courier fees, if required
* Document preparation fees
* Document recording charges
* Homeowner’s association statement fee and prorata dues
* Home warranty (according to contract)
* Work/repairs required (according to contract)
* Matters of record against the property or seller (loans, tax liens, judgments, etc.) and fees required to clear them (statement fees, reconveyance/trustee fees and prepayment penalties)
* Bonds and assessments (according to contract)

Buyers Generally Pay:

* Title insurance policy premiums (lender’s and Buyer's)
* Escrow fees
* Notary fees
* Property tax proration (from acquisition date)
* Special delivery/courier fees, if required
* Document preparation fees
* Document recording charges
* Homeowner’s association transfer fee and prorata dues
* City costs
* Home warranty (according to contract)
* Inspection fees (according to contract)
* Matters of record against the buyer including tax liens, judgments and fees required to clear them
* Fire insurance premium for the first year
* Assumption/change of records fees if the buyer is taking over an existing loan
* Lender’s new loan charges
* Interest on new loan from date of funding to 30 days prior to the first payment
* Other prorations (rents, insurance etc.) if applicable

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