Signing, sealing, and delivery are all essential to a deed. It is sometimes desired that delivery be not made until some future date, or until certain conditions have been performed. In such cases the deed is placed in escrow; that is, it is handed over to a third party to be held by him until the requirements are fulfilled, and these are usually committed to writing and deposited with the deed.

In such cases all entries, except those showing receipt of the consideration, are made in the records as if the transaction were consummated, for all papers have been executed; but a notation giving the particulars of the escrow is made on the real estate ledger. If the escrow is broken, such entries are cancelled. If it is carried out, the consideration is then entered on the books.