To many home buyers and sellers alike, the land title insurance business is sort of a “black box” where most don’t understand how it works and why title insurance is important.
In this post, we’ll attempt to shed some light on the amount of work that goes into making sure a property, whether it is commercial or residential is able to be purchased and what the purpose of title insurance is in the first place.
What is a title agent and what do we do?
First it is important to understand what a title agent is in the first place. Title agents, escrow agents, closing agents, and real estate attorneys work to ensure that buyers are protecting their property rights.
Prior to closing on a home or property, we verify and examine legal documents that pertain to the property for purchase to ensure there are no liens or encumbrances on the property. This process can be complex and time consuming, but ensures it can legally be transfer into the new owner’s name.
What types of things might prevent one from being able to purchase a property?
We have to examine public and private records for liens, unpaid tax issues, unpaid child support, ownership disputes between previous owners, forgery, fraud, and even parking tickets.
As you can imagine, there isn’t a single source for this information, and where to find it will differ between states, counties, and cities.
What is Title Insurance?
After the search is completed, we offer what’s called an “Owner’s Title Insurance Policy” which helps protect the homeowner’s property ownership should something show up on the property that wasn’t found in the search.
A “Lender’s Title Insurance Policy” (also known as a “Loan Policy”) is something similar that lenders often require when there is a loan on the property being purchased and protects them the same way it protects you.
Both the Owner’s and Lender’s policy is a one-time fee and protects you as long as you own the home, so it is usually a smart idea to purchase it when offered to you by a licensed title company, escrow company, closing company, settlement agent, or attorney – depending on who can handle real estate closings in your state.
Title Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
- Should I Buy a Bigger House or Build an Addition?
- What Does a Professional Home Stager Really Do?
- How School Zones Affect Home Buying
- Loan Officers, Underwriters, and Mortgage Brokers – Who’s Who?
- Do I Need a Survey When Buying a Property?
- What is a Loan Payoff Letter?
- What is a Loan Commitment Letter?
- Loan Commitment Letter vs Pre-Approval Letter
- What is an example of a title insurance claim?
- What Are The Top Questions To Ask A Mortgage Lender?
- Title Insurance vs Property & Casualty Insurance
- What Do I Bring To Closing?
- Is title insurance transferable?
- Why go to same title agent when refinancing?
- What is a closing agent?
- What is a closing protection letter?
- What to look for in a title commitment?
- What to look for in a title insurance policy?
- Great reasons to sell your home
- What is an ALTA Settlement Statement?
- Who can handle a real estate closing in your state?
- What is a promulgated rate in title insurance and what states have promulgated rates?
- What is a filed rate in title insurance and which states have filed rates?
- In which states are title insurance rates “not filed” and what does it mean?
- Understanding your Closing Disclosure (CD) when purchasing a home, and how it differs from an ALTA Settlement Statement
Do you have any questions about an upcoming real estate transaction? Give us a call today!