Why we are Elite


Since most people deal with escrow infrequently, the average consumer may not know what to expect when opening an escrow. Therefore, the principals in a real estate transaction place a significant amount of trust in the escrow holder. They need someone who will not only guide them through the escrow process, but be proactive on their behalf. Working with an independent escrow company and an experienced escrow officer is vital to the smooth flow and successful outcome of an escrow.

The escrow officers at Elite Escrow have a wealth of escrow experience, which is not theoretical, but based on the practical, day-to-day experience of closing thousands of escrows. The officers are backed up by a team of junior officers, assistants, and loan document specialists. The owners of the company, Karen Viens and Genia Engelstad, also bring experience, strong management skills and leadership to each transaction. 

The staff at Elite Escrow does not just rely on their extensive industry knowledge. They continue their education in escrow and real estate, upgrading their skills and staying current with information necessary in the escrow business. In addition, the company follows progressive business practices and continually update their software and equipment to provide the best service to clients.

Licensed, Independent

Elite Escrow is an independent escrow company. We are not owned by nor do we have any business interests in title companies, real estate companies, insurance agencies, or any other real estate related businesses. 

As an independent escrow company, we are a true neutral third party, and represent the most secure form of escrow holder. We are licensed by the California Department of Business Oversight and are subject to the most stringent consumer protections in the industry.

Our only business is escrow. It's what we do and we do it better than our competitors. 

Total Customer Focus

Providing excellent customer service is the goal of Elite Escrow. Dedicated to satisfying each client, we use progress sheets to update records daily so that clients stay informed about the status of their escrow. Staff members are available to explain the elements of escrow and to answer any questions that may arise. The progress sheet is also used by employees to track the status of each escrow so that delays do not occur.

From simple courtesies such as having a competent receptionist professionally answer the telephone to being meticulous during the escrow process, the entire staff at Elite Escrow has a "Can Do" attitude. Our aim is to successfully close each escrow, and on time. As straight-forward, solution-oriented problem solvers, we handle the many details involved in escrow efficiently and in a timely manner. Our objective is that every client should have a positive escrow experience.


How well do you know your escrow holder? How can you be sure that funds placed in escrow are secure? As a privately-held, licensed company, Elite Escrow Services of San Diego is required to be a member of the Escrow Agents’ Fidelity Corporation (www.eafc.org). No other escrow provider has such stringent requirements. 

In addition, our internal procedures are organized in a way that ensures cross-checking and internal auditing. 

We have been in business since 1971 and you can trust us to be there for you today and tomorrow. 


One of Elite Escrow’s greatest strengths is our thoroughness. We operate with a system of checks and balances – one person orders documents while another checks them in. Every file contains detailed file notes and records and each person on the escrow team has access to them.

As part of our proactive service, we request the title company send the title report directly to the real estate agent so that they receive it in the fastest manner possible. We inform agents when deposits arrive and we fax or email estimated closing costs to them well before closing. A pre-audit sheet is also sent out prior to closing, listing which items are still needed to close the transaction.

The closing department at Elite Escrow is unique in that it employs a full-time escrow officer dedicated to making sure that escrows close. The officer audits all files prior to closing, verifying funding and accuracy. Checks and closing statements are prepared and delivered promptly. 

Finally, our team of trained loan document signing specialists is available to meet inside or outside the office seven days a week to sign documents.

Escrow Services 

Although Elite’s business was built on residential sales and refinances, today we handle all types of escrows including commercial, investment, apartments, subdivision, manufactured and mobile homes, leasehold escrows, short sales, probates, seller carry back, all inclusive trust deeds, for sale by owner, REO properties, liquor license transfers, exchanges and private financing. 

Because the company is a San Diego County business, we are well-versed in local real estate requirements and are experts at handling escrows in the area and throughout the state. 

To provide efficient professional services to clients, the staff is divided into escrow teams. Team members are cross-trained on each escrow, so that if one employee is unavailable, another will be capable of continuing the work. Our system keeps the process moving towards closing without any delays. 

The escrow officers and staff at Elite Escrow operate under the highest ethical and professional standards. Clients who use our highly-experienced, customer-focused escrow officers can be assured that their escrow will exceed their expectations!

We want to be your Escrow Company for life.