Frequently Asked Questions
One out of every three searches reveals a title or public record defect that’s fixed before the transaction closes, making this a very important step.
Second, we contract with an underwriting company to issue an insurance policy that will pay to defend you in court if anyone challenges your title and to compensate you for your equity if you lose. This amount will be up to the dollar amount of insurance provided by the policy. Homebuyers typically need two policies: an owner’s policy which protects them, and a lender’s policy, which safeguards the lender.
Title is the owner’s right to use the property. Real property can be titled in many ways with many entities involved. It can have restrictions on the use. Someone other than the owner can have rights to the property. A bank or an individual may have a lien. A government entity might have a lien. Easements might allow access to someone other than the owner. A lenders title policy protects a lenders interest in a property and does not protect your rights as an owner. And the list goes on.
A search from our experienced professionals will reveal most of these issues and a report is a good way to start, but here are a few other things that may arise after you buy and should be considered:
• Forgery of documents by prior owners, including but not limited to deeds and lien documents
• Forgery of released lien documents
• Falsified powers of attorney
• Lack of legal access
• Mistakes of public record
• Poor or insufficient notary acknowledgments
• Misinterpretations of a Will or Corporate documents
• Special Assessments
• Any items of public record that may have been missed in the initial title report
• Child Support liens
All of the above items, and many more will be covered under your owner’s title insurance policy. Many of these problems can occur long after you have purchased the property and, with an owner’s title policy, you can rest assured that your property rights are protected. That is our commitment to you.
Escrow is the neutral party that will help gather and hold the required documents and funds from the necessary parties in order to help you navigate your way through the closing process. Your purchase agreement or earnest money contract give us the initial instructions needed to begin your closing process. We communicate with your Real Estate Agent(s), your Lender(s), your Attorney, the Seller and the Buyer to bring about closing. We also help to clear title, prepare closing statements, prepare and receive documents needed for closing, arrange for recording of documents, hold funds until all conditions are met and disburse funds according to the instructions provided.
We are not attorneys or tax specialists, so we can’t answer all of the questions or assist you with legal or tax advice. It is wise to contact an experienced real estate attorney or an accountant if you have questions of a legal or tax nature. We will do all we can to make the process run smoothly and efficiently so you can focus on enjoying your new property. The closing process can be daunting and complex, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your specific transaction.