The escrow company is an independent third party that essentially acts as the referee in a real estate transaction. This company will ensure that all parties perform all of their obligations in order for the real estate transaction to go through. In many cases, the escrow company will hold a sum of money from one side or the other, and they will not release that held money until all of the conditions are met by both sides. These companies are important in the process, for they provide both the buyer and the seller with the confidence that they need in order to complete a transaction, and they make sure that one party does not take advantage of the other before the deal finally closes. An escrow company will typically charge a small fee in order to facilitate the process in their role as neutral referee.