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What Are the Job Duties of an Escrow Assistant?

Real estate transactions require the efficient and timely handling of funds and documentation. Escrow assistants help perform this critical function every day. To get an idea of what an escrow assistant does, read on for details regarding job duties, educational requirements, and escrow assistant training.

Industry Overview

The sale of property, whether commercial or residential, can be a complex process involving relatively large amounts of money and many legal documents. The collection, preparation, and safe transfer of such money and documents are, until a transaction closes, the responsibility of an escrow agency. Escrow officers essentially act as third parties between the buyers and sellers of property. The day-to-day tasks involved in this process are often in the hands of an escrow assistant. Below are general facts on the required training for this profession, along with the median escrow assistant salary.

Important Facts about This Occupational Field

Median Salary (2019) $39,311*
Required Education High school diploma, licensure minimum
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% (for real estate sales agents)**
Key Skills Problem-solving, organizational, business, interpersonal

Sources: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Escrow Assistant Job Description

Escrow assistants mainly provide administrative support for the escrow officer. This may require office administrative skills and the ability to work quickly and accurately under time constraints. As an escrow assistant, you'll also need solid communication and customer service skills and a thorough understanding of escrow practices and real estate principles.

Many escrow assistants advance to the role of escrow officers, or may even establish their own escrow agencies.

Escrow Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

Escrow assistants perform a variety of general clerical tasks. Escrow assistants must be able to multi-task, and they need to possess strong organizational and problem solving skills. Some daily tasks that you could expect include gathering client and financial information, handling funds, entering data into a computer, and responding to information requests. You may also prepare, assemble, and deliver escrow documents.

Because real estate transactions involve specific laws and regulations, escrow assistants must be familiar with these laws to interpret monetary agreements, order title reports, conduct escrow signings, assist with closings, and complete the handling of funds.

Escrow Assistant Training

Many of the skills of the escrow assistant are specific to the employer and are often acquired through on-the-job experience. Before applying for an escrow assistant job, you should have a grasp of general office procedures and standard software applications. To prepare for entry-level jobs in the escrow industry, you can seek escrow certificates or real estate courses and programs offered through community colleges.

Such programs often explore topics on business law, accounting, and real estate practices. Students may learn of the processes that go into closing real estate transactions, along with the strategies for collecting, preparing, and safely transacting the appropriate finances and documents involved.

Real Estate Industry Outlook

The real estate industry is linked to fluctuations within the economy - periods of economic growth and stability bring more consumers to the housing and real estate market, while economic declines may stifle such activity.

The job outlook for real estate professions (this including escrow officers and assistants) looks to be a positive one, predicted to rise 6% from 2016-2026. Families and individuals are continuously looking to relocate or move to larger homes, leaving real estate professionals in high demand. Other factors, such as millennials entering the housing market and the rise in consumer spending, also contribute to the job growth in these careers.