What is title insurance?

Title insurance is a form of insurance that protects property owners and lenders against financial losses that may occur due to defects in the title or ownership of a property. It ensures that the property being purchased or refinanced has a clear title and protects the buyer or lender from any claims, liens, or encumbrances that may arise in the future.

What is escrow?

Escrow is a process in real estate transactions where a neutral third party, known as the escrow agent or company, holds and manages funds, documents, and instructions related to the transaction on behalf of the buyer and seller. The escrow agent ensures that all the conditions and terms of the transaction are met before the transfer of funds and ownership takes place.

What are the responsibilities of a title company?

A title company plays a crucial role in real estate transactions. Some of their responsibilities include:

  1. Conducting a title search to determine the legal ownership and any potential issues or liens associated with the property.
  2. Issuing title insurance policies to protect the buyer and lender.
  3. Facilitating the closing process by preparing necessary documents, coordinating with all parties involved, and ensuring a smooth transfer of funds and ownership.
  4. Recording the necessary documents with the appropriate government agencies after the closing.

Why is a title search important?

A title search is important because it helps identify any potential issues or defects with the property's title. It involves examining public records to determine the ownership history, mortgages, liens, judgments, and other encumbrances that may affect the property. By conducting a thorough title search, the buyer and lender can ensure that they are receiving a clear and marketable title to the property.

What does title insurance cover?

Title insurance typically covers financial losses or damages that may occur due to defects in the property's title. These defects may include errors or omissions in public records, undisclosed or unknown liens, forgery or fraud in previous transactions, or claims from heirs or ex-spouses. Title insurance policies vary, so it's essential to review the specific coverage provided by the policy.

How long does the escrow process take?

The duration of the escrow process can vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of the transaction and the responsiveness of all parties involved. On average, the escrow process can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days. However, it's important to note that it can be shorter or longer depending on the circumstances.

What fees are typically associated with title and escrow services?

The fees associated with title and escrow services can vary depending on several factors, including the location, purchase price of the property, and the services provided by the title company. Common fees include title search fees, title insurance premiums, escrow fees, document preparation fees, notary fees, and recording fees. It's advisable to consult with the title company or escrow agent to get a detailed breakdown of the specific fees involved in your transaction.

Can I choose my own title company and escrow agent?

In many real estate transactions, the choice of title company and escrow agent is negotiable between the buyer, seller, and their respective real estate agents or attorneys. However, the lender may have specific requirements or preferences regarding the selection of these service providers. It's important to review your contract and consult with your lender or real estate professional to understand any restrictions or recommendations regarding the selection of title and escrow services.

What happens at the closing?

The closing is the final step in a real estate transaction where all the necessary documents are signed, funds are transferred, and ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. During the closing, your Escrow Officer will go over all the documents and numbers in full detail and will provide instructions on how to send your final funds for closing.

Important Phone Numbers

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Title Rate Manual

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Closing Process