As an escrow officer who has handled transactions of residential real estate without benefit of a realtor to represent the buyer and seller, I feel compelled to respond to the letter by Russell T. Connors.
It is true that an individual can handle the sale of his home without the assistance of a realtor. However, unless the parties are experienced in real property transactions, the average homeowner or home buyer is not aware of the many regulations and disclosures which by law must be complied with, negotiating new loans and the requirements of lenders in today's market, and the protective provisions and guidelines as contained in a real estate broker's deposit receipt.
An escrow holder is engaged to be a neutral, third-party depository for documents and monies, and to follow the mutual, written instructions of buyer and seller until all conditions of the escrow have been met and the transfer of title occurs.
An escrow holder is not in a position, by the very nature of acting in a fiduciary capacity, to give the parties advice. Realtors, attorneys and tax experts are those qualified to advise and to guide buyers and sellers.