Escrow account and agents are important when buying properties valued at over $100,000 to ensure all monies are safe until a transaction is complete. The fees associated are worth avoiding the stress of a sale ‘go wrong’ by an unscrupulous buyer or seller. I have learnt the hard way and will always manage property purchases this way from now on.
What is an escrow account?
An escrow account is essentially used to holds funds (for example a cash deposit on a house, apartment or land) in trust whilst two or more parties complete a transaction. This uses a trusted third party to secure the funds until disbursement to the seller at the conclusion (and / or at intervals) of the contractual term (property settlement) when the new title is handed over.
The seller holds the funds (usually a deposit) in an independent account until either a) the buyer has received and approved the new property title or b) the buyer rejects the purchase and forfeits the deposit. The buyer’s funds stay in this account until receiving the property and property title.
If this is not done (for whatever reason), the sale can be rejected and the funds returned.
An Escrow agent is able to oversee the process to ensure the funds reach the right hands at the right time. S / he ensures protection for the Buyer and Seller, disputes are managed appropriately and fairly and each step of the transaction is tracked and verified.
How does Escrow work?
- The Buyer and Seller agree on the set sale price of the property and the transaction terms (as laid out in the sales contract) including the fact that escrow will be used;
- The Buyer and seller agree on a provider for the purchase managed through an escrow account;
- The Buyer commences payment method (deposit) as indicated in the sales agreement;
- Property title process completed
- As soon as the property title is properly transferred (and documents checked), the agent releases the remaining funds.
- The physical title is then provided to the Buyer when the fund balance has been received by the Seller
You can use a number of providers to set up an escrow account, such as:
In 2020, The Association of Banks Cambodia (ABC) released its DIRECTORY BOOKLET to promote financial inclusion and ensuring financial stability.
Chairman of ABC on the banking sector:
“Cambodia is a young economy that has been developing on the basis of a free and open market scheme since the early 1990s.
The banking sector has steadily developed. It has been resilient, stable, and integrated within regional and global markets. Its sound development is crucial to the growth of economic activities and diversification, especially financial integration in the region.
Credit has steadily increased and has benefited various sectors of the economy. Along with robust economic growth, Cambodia’s banking sector continues to gradually develop. With this healthy financial intermediation, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) in collaboration with the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC) has been promoting
financial inclusion while also ensuring financial stability.
Higher and better regulation, increased coordination between regulators of partner countries, and a large common commitment in safeguarding financial stability are all necessary to allow harmonious and sustainable growth. These are all objectives that are core elements of the ASEAN Economic Community, particularly the financial integration framework. It is my hope and expectation that this book will provide an effective experience and reference resource for all of you”.
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