Escrow can be confusing, particularly for first-time homebuyers. As with all aspects of a real estate transaction, it’s best if you know what you’re dealing with before you dive in.

What is Escrow?

Escrow refers to a buyer giving deposit money to a neutral third party who will give it to the seller once the deal goes through.

The buyer gives this money to a neutral third party to keep the whole deal—and everyone involved—completely honest.

When a home is in escrow, it means that you’ve made your offer, the seller has accepted, and you’re all wrapping up loose ends. The escrow process can take up to 6 weeks to complete (and in some cases, even longer), so there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong.

Fortunately, you can usually head off small problems before they have a chance to turn into big problems