What Is an Escrow Closer?

Escrow closers process funds and paperwork between home buyers, home sellers, lenders, and government agencies. Read on to discover the responsibilities you'll take on and the education you'll need if you choose to become an escrow closer. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

As an escrow closer, also known as an escrow officer, you'll be responsible for processing the documents and funds that allow people to buy and sell homes. You'll essentially act as an objective party who transfers money and paperwork between all the individuals involved in the purchase of a home or building. Your duties may include:

  • Communicating with the home buyers, home sellers, and financial lenders
  • Determining escrow requirements
  • Depositing and disbursing funds
  • Preparing the necessary mortgage documents to complete the sales transaction

You'll also work with escrow tax documents to ensure that all parties legally comply with state mandates. Salary.com reported that escrow closers earned a median annual salary of $44,903 as of December 2015.

Important Facts About Escrow Closers

Job Outlook (2012-2022) 8% growth (for all loan officers, including escrow closers)
Key Skills Clear written and spoken communication, critical thinking, problem solving, strong mathematical foundation, good decision making
Work Environment Commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and other financial institutions
Similar Occupations Financial analysts; real estate brokers and sales agents; tellers; securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents; tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Escrow Process

Escrow is one of the final stages of home buying. Once all parties involved in the transaction have agreed on a final offer, they'll forward the contract offer to you, the escrow closer. Based on this contract, you'll develop escrow instructions, which will serve as a summary of the contract's terms and agreements. While the specifics of the escrow period may vary depending on your state, you'll typically use this time to prepare the final sales agreement, property title, loan documents, and tax information. When escrow closes, you'll distribute the necessary paperwork and money to the sellers, buyers, lenders, and state government.

Education and Experience

The education you'll need to work as an escrow closer may vary depending on the position you're applying for and the state you live in, but many employers require a high school education and several years of work experience, according to December 2015 job postings on CareerBuilder.com. You can also choose to enroll in a real estate or escrow management certificate or associate's degree program to improve your employment chances. Classes can focus on topics such as:

  • Accounting
  • Legal aspects of real estate
  • Escrow procedures
  • Business law
  • Real estate appraisal

In addition to work experience, employers will expect you to be familiar with real estate operations and computer programs. They'll also expect you to have strong interpersonal skills. Some states require escrow agents to receive a license, which can include undergoing a background check, submitting proof of prior escrow experience, and paying a licensing fee, among other requirements.

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