Escrow and Settlement
For example, you are
going to need an escrow or settlement company to act as an
"independent third party" between you and the seller. Without
having a third party involved, how do you know that when you fork over
the money, you are going to get the deed? This is the type of service
provided by escrow and settlement. They will hold your deposit and
coordinate much of the activity that goes on during the escrow period.
Since this third
party is very important to both you and the seller and both of you will
pay fees to this company, it is important to agree on which service to
use. Therefore, your choice should be part of the offer. Since you do not
buy a home every other week or so, you are probably unfamiliar with
companies that provide this service. Your agent will make a
recommendation. You have the authority to accept this recommendation and
include it in your offer, or make your own choice.
Keep in mind that the
seller will also have a preference and this may be a point of negotiation
in a counter-offer. It has become customary that one side will choose the
escrow/settlement agent and one side chooses the title insurance company.
Even so, everything in real estate is negotiable.