Escrow: An agreement between two or more parties providing that certain instruments or property be placed with a third party for safekeeping, pending the fulfillment or performance of a specific act or condition.
Simply stated…This is most typically seen when a buyer writes a check for earnest money as part of a purchase agreement. In Albuquerque, a title company usually acts as the escrow agent. The check is deposited with them after the offer is accepted. They will then apply the amount of the check as a credit to the buyer at closing or, if the contract is terminated, the title company will disburse per the instructions in the contract and only with the signature of all parties involved.
For brief definitions of other terms, visit my Real Estate Glossary.