Real estate transactions involve large sums of money and collateral property. They are subject to legislative statutes, local ordinances, case law and physical inspections. These deals usually also involve credit checks, employment verifications and asset evaluations. Needless to say, all parties involved, i.e. buyers, sellers, borrowers and lenders, must fulfill their respective contractual obligations before funds are disbursed and property is conveyed. Because of all these variables, another party is contracted to hold deposit and loan funds, releasing them only when agreed-upon duties are performed. This final player is known as the escrow agent, whose own performance is governed by the escrow agreement.