A popular question we receive at All Florida Title Company is if buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction have to use the same escrow company when closing on a Florida property. Unfortunately, the answer is a bit more complicated than just a yes or no.
Because the home buying process involves many different steps and services involving the title and escrow, many companies offer both to help facilitate a smooth closing experience. This can be confusing because the terms “escrow company” and “title agency” are often interchangeable because they are being used to refer to the same service.
How Using Different Escrow Companies Works in Florida
Florida real estate regulations make it clear that sellers cannot force a buyer to use their preferred title/escrow company of the sale. In fact, state law doesn’t require sellers or buyers to use escrow companies, nor demand they use the same one if they do. But the assistance these agencies provide in ensuring all parties involved adhere to the sales contract is an essential ingredient to any real estate transaction.
So, the parties can opt to use their own preferred companies, though this is usually not the case. Splitting the closing between separate title agencies often delays the closing as each side has to be on the same page. Plus, state law requires escrow brokers to act as neutral third parties that keep everyone’s interests in mind and not just those who hired their services. This reality further supports simply choosing a single service provider to handle your entire transaction.
But, there are some advantages to a split closing scenario:
- The closing can be settled more quickly since the buyer and seller do not have to be present when each signs paperwork finalizing the deal.
- Separate companies mean dedicated advocacy for each party instead of a single title company having to do so for both.
- Greater confidence in how the transaction is handled because you choose a company you trust.
If you do decide to choose your own title agency to handle your end of a real estate deal, you should also be aware of the potential drawbacks:
- If an issue arises due to a title or property defect, it could take longer to get the issue resolved on the day of closing because not all parties will necessarily be present. This means a lot of back-and-forth communication and waiting on replies to eventually settle the issue.
- With more parties involved, there is also a greater chance of miscommunication because everyone isn’t always on the same page. Communication could even break down completely, leaving each company on its own to complete its portion of a transaction.
- Getting paperwork recorded can also be delayed when closing is split. This is because each side will need to receive a copy of the other’s documentation, sign it, and then get the funds disbursed and the deed recorded.
As you can see, conducting a split closing has significant disadvantages compared to the advantages in just paperwork alone. Using a single title agency like All Florida Title Company ensures that everyone follows through on deadlines and has a centralized point of communication. This ensures the entire closing process is streamlined, and any issues that arise can be handled more expediently.
Choose AFTC for Your Real Estate Transactions
Whether you are a buyer, realtor, private seller, developer, investor, or lender, you need a seasoned title company to ensure your real estate deal stays on track and closes smoothly. With over two decades of titling service experience, All Florida Title Company provides you with the guidance and support necessary to avoid potential pitfalls throughout the sale or purchase of property in this great state.
Our organization is owned and led by Attorney Marc Brown. He provides personalized reviews of every transaction we process. Trust his decades of real estate law experience to detect and prevent potential legal snarls that could delay or prevent your transaction from being successful. We invite you to contact us about your title needs and look forward to assisting you.