You happily sit down to sign your sales contract for buying or selling your home. You shake hands with your real estate agent, but the sale isn’t yet complete. There are important closing preparations to be done by a critical real estate player that’s often working outside of the spotlight: the title agency.

A title agency functions as an agent of all involved parties including the buyer, seller, real estate agents, and lender, working with everyone to close each transaction. From examining titles to issuing insurance policies to making sure everyone gets paid, there’s more to a title company’s role than meets the eye.

Verifying titles

One primary and vital role of the title company is to make sure that the seller has the legal right to give the property to the buyer. To find out, the title company performs a thorough examination of property records through a sophisticated review process. Unfortunately, life is not perfect and sometimes what can go wrong, will go wrong. Claims can happen! Forgeries, chain of title problems, dower, fraud, existing mortgages that should have been paid off, unpaid property taxes, unpaid tax liens, medicaid liens, or lack of authority to sign on behalf of a trust, estate, or company are just a few examples of potential claims. Homeowner’s Policies or and Owner’s Policy are a great way to mitigate these potential risks during the buying process for buyers or Loan Policies for Lenders during the loan process. Sometimes title agencies may have to order a property survey to evaluate any encroachments or easements on the property to verify that buyers are buying properties without encumbrances.

In the end, the title company produces a commitment detailing the property’s ownership history, including foreclosures and other types of legal action concerning the building or land. Once buyers, borrowers, or lenders meet requirements, policies are issued after the recording of mortgage and/or deed.

Completing closings

Title agencies perform title services but also perform escrow services. An agent prepares a settlement statement that includes all the payments to be made from the loan proceeds and how much will be disbursed to the borrower in case of a refinance or to the seller in the event of a purchase. The company obtains signatures on all closing documents. Then, the title company also records the deed and mortgage in local county and land office public records, serving as evidence of the property’s ownership.

Escrow Officers are available to explain key numbers and details related to your transaction. If you have a question, please ask us, we are here to help.

Refinancing

Title companies do some similar work in refinancing transactions, but it varies. Tasks include contacting lenders to determine the amount of money required to pay off existing mortgages and gathering all of the documents required for the refinancing. You should always feel free to contact your title company at any time for inquiries on title searches, title reports, title insurance, escrow accounts or closings.

Whether you’re purchasing real estate, selling an existing property, or refinancing, we’re your trusted leader in the title and escrow space. Have questions? Contact us!

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