Escrow 101: Understanding the Seller’s Property Information Form

This tip explains the Seller’s Property Information form. As a Seller in a transaction, you can expect to receive this document shortly after the escrow is opened. The information requested from you is not available from other sources, so your attention to this form is particularly important to your escrow officer.

The Property Information form has several sections, each of which serves a special purpose.

Existing Loan Information

Use this section to disclose all loans which you currently have on your property. Providing an accurate loan number is particularly important, as your escrow officer will need this information in order to obtain your loan payoff statement. The law requires your escrow company to have your written permission to obtain your loan payoff information. When you sign the statement, you are providing that authorization.

Credit Lines

If one of your loans in a line of credit, it is best to stop using the account during the escrow period so that an accurate payoff statement can be prepared by your lender. Your escrow officer may provide a copy of this form to your lender to request that your account be “frozen”. By placing your initials in this section, you indicate that you understand this process.

Property Reports

Many cities have ordinances which impose requirements on Sellers when they sell their property. These may include the disclosure of a home’s building permit history and satisfaction of water conservation and retrofit requirements. Because these laws vary widely throughout California, it is important to inform your escrow officer about any local laws which might affect the closing of your escrow.

Tenants and Leases

Advise your escrow officer if your property is rented to tenants. Your purchase contract may provide for a proration of the monthly rent and adjustments for security deposits. If so, your escrow officer can provide a Rent Statement which you can use to provide the required information.

Owner’s Associations

In this section of the form, you will tell your escrow officer about the homeowner associations which affect your property. During the escrow process, the associations will be contacted by your escrow officer for a statement of your account and property transfer requirements. If the fire insurance premium is included in your regular association dues, check the box provided for this purpose. This helps your escrow officer anticipate what will be needed to satisfy insurance requirements for the buyer in your transaction.

Seller’s Instructions to Escrow Holder

In the final paragraph of the Property Information Statement, you, as the Seller, instruct your escrow officer to order the necessary payoff statements and other documents which are needed to close your escrow. You also agree to pay the costs associated with these services. Sign the form, provide your social security number and, if possible, a forwarding address.