Buyer & Seller Guide

Glossary of Terms

The following is a short glossary of commonly used terms during your escrow transaction. For a more complete glossary

Close Costs and Who Pays What

Closing costs are what the buyer and seller will pay as part of the escrow transaction. Some fees are negotiable between the seller and buyer

Real Property Tax Dates

The following schedule lists some of the more significant dates for California property taxes affecting property owners.


There are many types of tax issues which should be considered during a real estate transaction. Lawyers Title provides the following information

What is a Payoff?

A loan payoff is an extremely important service provided by title companies to facilitate the handling of money in the closing of a real estate transaction.

PMI: Private Mortgage Insurance

PMI is a type of insurance required by the lender that helps protect lenders against losses due to foreclosure.

Disclosure Report

Disclosure reports are designed to assist sellers (and their agents) in disclosing legally required information to a potential purchaser

Loan FAQ

Generally, your escrow instructions will be mailed to you for completion and signature. Your escrow officer or real estate agent

The Loan Process

Your loan process should go smoothly if you complete your loan application properly and provide all necessary documentation

Other Participants in an Escrow Transaction

In addition to the buyer, seller, lender and real estate agent(s), Escrow may involve several other participants.

Red Flags in the Title & Escrow Process

Below are some of the items which may cause delays or other problems within a transaction and must be addressed well before the closing.

The Short Sale Escrow

Lawyers Title can also handle the specialized “short sale” escrow in which you need an experienced escrow officer in short sale transactions.

Opening Escrow

In general, the first item to enter the escrow is the buyer’s initial deposit. The escrow file will grow, item by item, until all of the conditions

The Life of an Escrow (Downloadable PDF)

Downloadable PDF – The Life of an Escrow

The Escrow Process

The escrow is a depository for all monies, instructions and documents necessary for the purchase of your home, including your funds

Escrow FAQ

The escrow is an independent neutral account and the vehicle by which the mutual instructions of all parties to the transaction are complied with.

Vesting Descriptions – California  (Downloadable PDF)

Downloadable PDF – Vesting Descriptions – California 

The Benefits of the Statement of Information

Statements of Information provide title companies with the information they need to distinguish the buyers and sellers of real property

What is the “Preliminary Title Report”?

The Lawyers Title Preliminary Report is an offer to issue a policy of title insurance covering a particular estate or interest in land subject to stated exceptions.

Homeowner’s Policy of Title Insurance

Homeowners depend upon the strength and stability of a reputable title insurer to back their policies for years to come.

Title Policy Comparison Chart  (Downloadable PDF)

Download PDF – Title Policy Comparison Chart

The Title Search Process

Customer Service verifies legal property description and how title to real property is held

Why You Need Title Insurance – 21 Reasons

With home ownership comes the need to protect the property against the past, as well as the future.

What is Title Insurance? FAQ

The purchase of a home is often the single largest investment people will make in a lifetime

The Title Insurance “Value Proposition”

10 Reasons Why Title Insurance is Important and Worth the Money.

Understanding Probate

Everyone has a will or plan, whether created or by default. Even if you have not made out a will or a trust, you still have a plan.

Transfer on Death TOD Deed QA

When you die, the identified property will transfer to your named beneficiary without probate. The TOD deed has no effect until you die. You can revoke it at any time.

What is Quitclaim Deed?

The process of buying a home can be complex, particularly when the home is currently owned by more than one person.

Changes and Benefits PATH Act and FIRPTA

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act created significant changes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA).

Mello Roos

A Mello-Roos fee is a separate charge on a property tax bill in addition to the 1% property tax rate allowed by Proposition 13.

Homestead Declaration

New Homestead Protection Amounts On January 1, 2021 the amount of equity a Homestead Declaration.

Escrow and Taxes

Change of Ownership Filings When property changes hands, local government agencies require notice of change of ownership.

Escaped Tax Bills

An escaped assessment/tax bill may be the result of a reappraisable event that has not been reported to the Assessor’s Office.

Vesting Descriptions – How to hold title in California

How to hold title in California. Common Methods of Holding Title Explained.

Community Property with Rights of Survivorship

Community Property With Right Of Survivorship (section 682.1 of the Civil Code) is a relatively new way for married couples to hold title to property in California.

Change of Ownership

When a Change of Ownership Requires Reappraisal Joint Tenancy Under this method of holding title, each owner holds the property jointly with the other owners.


Contact Steve Park


“With 14+ years of experience working and living in the South Orange County area, I am well-equipped to assist you with all your real estate needs.”