Buyer's Choice Act and Escondido Real Estate

AB 957 and How it Effects Escondido Real Estate

New legislation was signed into California law in December of 2009 effecting us here in San Diego North County.   There are several points that Escondido home  buyers and Escondido home sellers should be aware of:
  1. A seller of REO residential Escondido real estate with four or fewer units “shall not require directly or indirectly as a condition of selling the Escondido property that title insurance covering the Escondido property or escrow service provided in connection with the sale of the property be purchased by the buyer from a particular title insurer or escrow agent.”  What  this means in plain language is that the bank, selling bank owned property, cannot require you the Escondido buyer to user their title insurance company or their escrow company.  This is only true if you the buyer are paying for these services.  Gary’s winning team member, Pickford Escrow  and The Escrow Firm have closed over 9,000 REO (bank real estate owned) transactions in the last 18 months.
  2. The bill provides that “sale” is intended by the Legislature to “include the receipt of an offer to purchase that  residential  Escondido property.” – means it is intended to prohibit sellers from conditioning the receipt of an offer to buy an Escondido REO property on the buyer’s agreement to use a specific title insurer or escrow agent.  That means the bank has to look at your offer reguardless of which title or escrow company you choose.  California Title Company, one of Gary’s winning team members is also experienced in bank REO’s sales.
  3. AB 957 does NOT prohibit an Escondido buyer “from agreeing to accept the services of a title insurer or escrow agent recommended by the seller” PROVIDED THAT “written notice of the right to make an independent selection of those services is first provided by the seller to the buyer.”  That means it is  ok to use who the bank recommends provided they disclose that it is your choice.
  4. AB 957 only applies to title insurance or escrow services “purchased by” or paid for by the Escondido buyer.  That means if the bank is paying for both sides, they get to pick.
  5. A seller who violates AB 957 “Shall be liable to a buyer in an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance or escrow service.” A violation of AB 957 is also deemed to be a violation of the seller’s license law which can subject the seller to discipline by its licensing entity.
Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor, Pickford Escrow,  and California Title Company are excited about working with you on transacations that we could not work on before this law was passed. We look forward to closing your next REO deal!  Contact Gary Harmon to get more information on bank foreclosure sales.  You can also do a free foreclosures search by using Foreclosue Radar  provide by Gary Harmon.


  1. Joe Curtis says:

    Gary – great article on AB957. I’ll be interested to see the banks reactions as more agents write in their preferred escrow company. Let me know what you see.