Transactions on works of art of great value, though lucrative, are often a source of concern for all parties involved, who may not be sure if their efforts will come to fruition. In response to certain irregularities in these operations, a legal figure has appeared at the international level whose presence is increasingly desired in the Spanish territory: the “escrow”.

The so-called escrow contract allows two parties to buy and sell goods or services with security, providing a easy-to-use, safe and cost-effective payment option both for the buyer and for the seller.

Therefore, the escrow agent forms a separate trust account that provides financial protection for the buyer and the seller. An escrow transaction can be started both by the buyer or the seller.

The objective, as is easy to deduce, is to give the customer the peace of mind that their money is safe by keeping his or her funds in the custody of a neutral third party. Once the customer receives the goods or services that have been agreed upon and the agreed terms have been fulfilled, then, and only then, are the funds released to the seller.

GoyaThe escrow process is generally used to disburse cash, but can also be used for exchanging other items of value, such as manuscripts, art objects, and software codes. An escrow can be used in any transaction in which it is important to ensure that all aspects of the contract or any other agreement are met before making a final disbursement.

Antonio Pedro Rodríguez Bernal
Lawyer and renowned specialist in the law applicable to the art market, historical heritage and antiques. He has participated in numerous international transactions of valuable works of art, either as a lawyer of the parties or of the participating dealers. He is frequently invited to radio programmes or interviewed in the press to discuss current issues relating to the Law of art, historical heritage and antiques.
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