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Palm Beach County Real Estate Escrow Basics

Escrow in Palm Beach County real estate transactions is the process where a neutral third party called the “escrow holder” acts as the depository for all monies, instructions and documents related to a real property purchase/sale transaction. Once all the terms and conditions set forth in the parties’ written instructions have been fulfilled, the escrow is closed and the escrow holder transfers the property to the buyer and the buyer’s funds to the seller. The escrow holder also typically handles the payoff of any existing loan held by the seller secured by the property.

Typical documentation collected by a Palm Beach real estate escrow holder includes:

  • Loan documents
  • Tax statements
  • Property-related insurance policies
  • Title insurance documents
  • Purchase agreement
  • Documents related to seller-financing, if any
  • Requests for payments out of the escrow funds


Typical escrow holder duties in Palm Beach real estate transactions include:

  • Preparing escrow instructions based on the purchase agreement
  • Requesting  title research
  • Complying  with lender instructions
  • Receiving buyer funds
  • Calculating pro-rata payments in accordance with the escrow instructions
  • Recording  the deed(s) and other documents as instructed
  • Ordering  title insurance
  • Closing escrow when all terms and conditions have been met
  • Disbursing escrow funds


An escrow holder does NOT do any of the following in a Palm Beach realty transaction:

  • Give advice to either party on any matter - the escrow holder is a neutral third party who follows written instructions only
  • Offer opinions about the tax implications of the transaction in general or specific escrow instructions




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