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esCrow Holder’s responsibiliTies
The escrow holder plays a key role in the successful completion of your project’s sale-outs. As the liaison with the developer, or their escrow coordinator, the buyers and the buyers’ lender, and all sales agents, you will come to appreciate their communication and organizational skills. If your project requires a Public Report from the Department of Real Estate (DRE),
you will need to select your escrow company prior to submission of your application to the DRE. The DRE requires that the escrow holder be under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corporations (DOC), such as an independent escrow company, or under the Department of Insurance (DOI), such as a title company escrow. Escrow companies that are under
the jurisdiction of the Department of Real Estate, such as a broker-owned escrow, are not acceptable for subdivision sale-out escrows.
The following are the documents provided by escrow for submission to the DRE:
• Certified sample escrow instructions. Most often these are a joint purchase agreement/escrow instructions form and are provided by the project attorney, escrow, or the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
• Sample Grant Deed, if not provided by the project attorney
• If a Preliminary Public Report (PINK) is being obtained, the escrow will sign an agreement to hold buyers’ deposits (form RE 612A).
• Once the Maintenance Bond is obtained, the original will be held by escrow with an agreement (form RE 643) submitted to the DRE.
The DRE will review and approve your purchase agreement and escrow instructions and you will certify that the form submitted to the DRE is the form you will use. Changes in your purchase agreement/escrow instructions should be discussed with escrow or the project attorney to determine if they are material and should be resubmitted to the DRE for approval.
If you will be obtaining a Preliminary Public Report (PINK) before the Final Public Report (White) is issued, the escrow holder will be named in the Report and will hold any buyer deposits. All deposits received under a PINK are refundable. (See page 20 of this handbook for types of Public Reports.)
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