Deeds, Title, and Escrow

What is the difference between a deed and title? Who pays for title insurance and how much does it cost? What is escrow and who pays for it? Where does my earnest money go and how much is it?

There are many aspects of a real estate transaction most home buyers and sellers don’t deal with on a regular basis and at first will be unfamiliar to them.

To help with this process, Kami Price, our experienced buyers agent goes over the process with each new client (adjusting to their experience level) before they make their first offer, and Stephen FitzMaurice, top 1% sellers agent, also makes sure to present the seller’s closing costs before listing a home on the market and provides a closing estimate prior to the sale completion.

If you’re considering buying a home in the next twelve months, Kami Price, buyers specialist would love to hear what you’re looking for. Call today to set an appointment.

Kami Price, Realtor
Represented Hundreds of Buyers
Licensed since 2004
503-773-0000

real estate deed vs title

Real Estate Deed Vs. Title, What is the Difference?

October 28, 2022

In the world of buying and selling real estate, ownership transfer is at the center of it all. All the time-sensitive rules and regulations, along with the terms and jargon can be too much for homeowners and potential buyers to sort out. Two such terms are “deed” and “title,” and we’re often asked to explain the difference between the two. In this article, we’ll break down the differences, the power they hold, and how to ensure legal standards are met. What’s the Difference Between a Deed and a Title? The biggest difference between a deed and a title is that one is an actual, tangible object, and the other is an abstract concept. A deed—the tangible document—transfers ownership from one...


What is Escrow – And How Much Does it Cost in 2021?

July 21, 2021

The home buying process can feel like a wild ride. And most of that ride can be pretty fun – you’re looking at houses online, touring them in person, and imagining yourself in your new home. What’s not as fun, though? The closing process, with its twists and turns and complicated terms. Closing on a home, especially for first time buyers, can become a labyrinth of obscure words and processes. That’s what we’re here for! We believe the role of the real estate agent during this time encompasses many things, and one big one is to guide you through the closing. Whenever parties are exchanging big chunks of money, complication ensues. And that complication is there for a reason: to...


portland real estate deeds and titles

Portland Real Estate Deeds and Titles FAQ: 2021

December 11, 2020

Transferring ownership is at the core of real estate transactions, yet few buyers and sellers truly understand the legal process behind deeds and titles. In this article, we answer some of the most common questions we hear from our real estate clients on this topic. What’s the difference between the deed and the title? The big difference between a deed and a title is that the deed is a piece of paper, and the title is an abstract concept: The rights of ownership.  Put another way, the deed is the document that names the legal title-holder of the property.  Why do I have to pay a title fee when I buy a piece of real estate? In Oregon, as in...


real estate delayed closings

19% of Home Sales are Delayed in Escrow

October 23, 2020

Delayed in escrow? You’re not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Confidence Index Survey, only 77% of homes close escrow on time. Another 19% are delayed but close eventually. In 4% of home sales, the contract is terminated and the home does not close.  Escrow begins at the moment the seller accepts an offer on the home and the buyer deposits earnest money. It ends at the “closing”, when the final paperwork is signed and the sellers hands off the keys to the buyer. Generally, real estate agents and their clients try to avoid moving this date, but sometimes pushing it back is the only alternative to having the deal fall through.  Why would escrow be...


what is real estate escrow

What is Real Estate Escrow and How Much is It?

September 4, 2020

Going through the escrow process can be a bit like an obstacle course: You pay to get in, and then there are a lot of hoops to jump through before you end up closing on your home! A good real estate agent can help you avoid the pitfalls. In this article we’ll attempt to give you a preview of the escrow process and associated costs.  So what is escrow?  According to Investopedia, “Escrow is a legal concept describing a financial instrument whereby an asset or escrow money is held by a third party on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction.” That’s about as clear as mud so let’s break it down! Basically, escrow is the...


escrow earnest money fact fiction real estate

Escrow and Earnest Money FAQ – Fact or Fiction

February 7, 2020

“Escrow” is a hard-working word in real estate. It’s also the process (Or is it just a period of time? We’ll get to that in a minute) with a number of pitfalls for first-time home buyers and sellers. On the other hand, even experienced real estate agents have been known to believe some of the escrow and earnest money myths that circulate regularly. In this article, we’ll break down some of the “facts and fictions” you’re most likely to hear about escrow in 2020. Fact or Fiction? “Escrow” refers to a bank account, not a period of time, so you shouldn’t say “in escrow”. Fiction! Escrow is both – in fact, you could say that escrow is three things: A...


escrow delays real estate market

Only 74% of Homes Close Escrow on Time.

September 16, 2019

When real estate is bought and sold, in Portland or anywhere else, it doesn’t happen instantly. There’s a period of time known as the “closing”, and there are a number of things that need to happen in this 30-45 day (average) window.  According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors, 74% of sales ended up closing on time. The other 26% closed after the expected closing date. Delays can be costly for everyone. It is costly to maintain your current home while you’re waiting for it to sell or be purchased, both sides could be keeping household items in storage, or the buyer or seller could be living out of hotels. Then there’s the hassle of rescheduling...


Escrow Earnest Money Fact or Fiction – 2019 Update

May 17, 2019

True or false: The average length of time a home spends in escrow has gone down over the last ten years, thanks to technological improvements. False! Escrow is a very important period of time in the home sale transaction, one that real estate agents don’t expect to see shrinking anytime soon. Yes, electronic signatures are great, but it still takes an average of 30-45 days to get a home from accepted offer to final closing, and that’s a good thing. During the escrow period, buyers can have a home inspection done, and sellers can complete any requested home repairs. The appraisal has to be ordered, performed, and reviewed. The title company can do their work ensuring that the fine details...


real estate faq escrow earnest money

Real Estate FAQ: Earnest Money, Escrow, and more

March 2, 2018

Buying or selling a home is different than a car or your old baseball card collection. After an offer is accepted, the home goes into escrow to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller, as well as the earnest money put down by the buyer. Here are the most common questions a Portland real estate agent gets about the earnest money and escrow process. Q: What is the difference between an earnest money payment and a down payment? A: Good question! Basically, an earnest money, also known as a deposit, is the amount of money put down on a home when a purchase agreement is first mutually agreed to. A down payment, on the other hand, is...


portland home deed and title

Portland Real Estate Deeds and Titles – FAQ

December 15, 2017

If you’re a home buyer or seller in the Portland real estate market, you know that every home has a title and a deed. But why do we have both, and why do we need title companies and title insurance? The answers are important, so read on. What’s the difference between a deed and a title? In strictly legal terms, the deed is the physical document that proves who owns the property, while the title is term that refers to who holds the rights of ownership. “Sarah picked up a copy of the deed from her real estate agent’s office after work,” but “Jeff transferred the title to Sarah last Monday.” What are “rights of ownership”? When you hold the...