When buying or selling real estate in Florida, you’ve likely heard the term “escrow,” but what exactly does it mean in terms of your legal rights and obligations? Below we’ll discuss what you need to know about Florida escrow laws and how escrow accounts work during real estate transactions. 

What is Escrow?

 In short, escrow is a financial arrangement where a neutral third party (i.e., the escrow agent) holds funds and documents on behalf of both parties involved in a real estate transaction. Escrow laws in Florida, as stipulated under Florida Statute § 651.033, are designed to protect the interests of both buyers and sellers during the real estate transaction process.

When funds are required to be deposited in an escrow account, Florida escrow laws dictate that escrow funds must be deposited with a qualified financial institution.  An escrow agent can be an attorney, title company or real estate broker. Because the escrow agent is responsible for holding and disbursing funds according to the terms of the real estate contract, you want to be sure to choose a licensed and reputable professional to act as your escrow agent. 

Escrows do not close until the real estate transaction has been finalized. That means all obligations of the purchase agreement have been met, the sellers have received their money and the title has been transferred.  

What Happens if There are Disputes with the Escrow? 

One of the most common reasons that escrow disputes arise is because of failed real estate transactions. When the real estate deal does not go through for one reason or another, the next key question is what to do with the escrow money. Often a large sum of money is deposited in escrow and both parties want what’s rightfully theirs.  

Resolving escrow disputes comes down to evaluating the facts of the purchase agreement. A real estate attorney is best qualified to guide buyers and sellers through an escrow dispute while complying with state laws governing real estate transactions. 

Contact our Team at Sirulnik Law and ADS Title Company 

Real estate transactions in Florida are legally complex. Not only is there a lot at stake emotionally, but there are also significant financial ramifications. Don’t leave anything up to chance.

Mitigate your risks and protect your interests and assets by turning to our team at the Law Offices of Alex D. Sirulnik, P.A. and ADS Title Services, Inc.  To learn more about how we can help you during every step of the real estate negotiation and closing processes, contact us to request a free consultation.