Are you authorized? Escrow Authority

The Board of Registration released answers to common some questions raised in the administration of real estate license law.  The question we’re sharing today is:  Is it permissible for a broker of record to designate check signing authority on an escrow account to another individual?  Short Answer: Not just anybody, only another licensed broker.

The board states, “254 CMR 3.10 describes the responsibilities placed on a broker for maintaining an escrow account. The Board has long interpreted 254 CMR 3.10 as allowing for only Brokers to keep and maintain escrow accounts.”  “In other words, neither salespersons nor those unlicensed may have access to check writing ability over escrow finds. This regulation seems to contemplate the scenario where there is one broker as evidenced by the following sentence: “An escrow account is an account where the broker deposits and maintains the money of other parties in a real estate transaction and such broker has no claim to such money.”

“The Board recognizes that the “one-broker” model is outdated and can frustrate the facilitation and consummation of transactions in instances where the broker of record in unavailable. To that end the Board interprets its regulation to allow for affiliated brokers (those brokers working under the same brokerage) to be signatories on escrow accounts.”