All of Florida’s Realtor contracts have space for the escrow agent’s information for a reason. This information allows the buyer to know where to send the deposit that is due upon entering into the contract.
Then, getting past the contract section there is a place that lists who the closing agent will be.
Now, the roles of the escrow agent and the closing agent can sometimes be fulfilled by the same person or company. Although, that does not always need to be and it is not wise to assume they are on in the same. Once you understand the differences between the two roles the less likely, you will encounter future issues.
For example, a buyer has his attorney hold the initial deposit, and the attorney’s information is placed in the appropriate escrow-agent position on the contract page. However, in this case, the seller has placed in the contract that they want and will choose the closing agent, and then they pick a well-known title company.
In the contract, it says the deposit is due three days after the effective date, and of course, the buyer goes ahead and sends the money to his attorney to meet the deadline. The seller in their mind contacts their title company to make sure the deposit is in place, but they are told the buyer’s money never was deposited. Obviously, the seller would be quite disappointed. They will then contact the buyer and inquire about the funds, and the now confused buyer tells the seller that per the contract they sent the funds to their attorney.
The seller is not happy. They rightly assumed the money would be placed with the title company they chose to act as the closing agent.
Did the buyer default? Can the seller start demanding that the buyer deposit the funds immediately with their selected title company? Well, both answers are NO.
The seller should have changed the information in the contract since the escrow, and closing agent is not one and the same.
One cannot repeat this warning enough. Carefully read the contract and avoid confusion later.