In a nutshell:
You can choose to use any escrow and title company. But, you'll increase your chances of offer acceptance if you're okay with letting the seller choose. Typically, the same company handles both your escrow and title services, but it is possible to get two different providers.
What to look for when deciding on an escrow & title company:
- Reputation: Ask for recommendations. You want someone who can explain terms clearly and create confidence.
- Experience: Make sure they've handled similar purchase loan documents, i.e. a foreclosure or fixer-upper property.
- Location: Look for an escrow office nearby during normal business hours so you can go sign papers quickly.
- Fees: Some fees for recording transactions or transferring taxes are non-negotiable, but others are more flexible.