It is it the responsibility of the title company to bring together the interests of all parties involved in the real estate transaction. This includes all of the sellers, buyers, real estate agents, and mortgage lenders. It is our job to ensure that all of the requirements are satisfied. Upon the ratification of the Sales Contract, the title company checks the completeness and accuracy before beginning with the title process:
- Title search: We evaluate the property’s title through a title search, which gives us the history of the property and allows us to trace the ownership. We closely examine the title and clear any claims or liens on the property so the new buyer will be spared from any problem that may arise in the future. This also means that the buyer receives a property that has a marketable and clear title.
- Survey: This, or a house location drawing of the property is usually required by lenders. Once we receive authorization from the buyer, our company will order a survey and check if there are potential problems. If issues will be seen on the survey, we will let the real estate agent, buyer, and lender know immediately. The survey will be turned over to the the buyer a the settlement.
- Property taxes: We confirm with the state or local taxing authority if the property taxes have already been settled. We also verify with the Homeowners/Condo Owners Association and with the local utility companies if the payments are updated. On the Closing Disclosure or the HUD-1 Settlement statement, we will write down the rates based on the settlement date and the billing period.
- Title insurance policy: We issue the lender’s coverage and the owner’s title insurance policy. The Title Insurance has two types: Owner’s, which may be purchased by the owner of the property at the settlement to protect the new owner, and Lender’s which is a requirement from the mortgage company to serve as protection for the lender’s investment in the property. It is important that all of the buyers acquire an owner’s title policy to protect them from future problems such as hidden risks, fraud against the property and unforeseen claims. The title insurance policy serves as protection from financial loss and payment should there be any legal costs needed.
- Load documents for closing: We keep constant communication with the mortgage lender to ensure the receipt of the loan documents for closing. Once we receive the documents in our office, we evaluate all of the forms and abide by the lender requirements for closing. Having all of these documents allows us to complete the Closing Disclosure or HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This is an important document and it’s crucial that it’s signed because it contains all of the costs connected with the sale and purchase of the property. Our company also prepares the deed and all required documents to comply with federal and state laws.
- Closing: During closing, all of the documents are thoroughly explained to all of the properties before asking them to sign. The settlement usually lasts from thirty minutes to one hour. After the closing, we hand out all of the monies collected during the settlement and pay the tax collector and surveyor. We also release and pay off all the existing mortgages on the property and work on the loan documents that will then be turned over to the lender.
- Documents recorded in courthouse: We are in charge of making sure that all of the documents including the new deed and mortgage are recorded properly in the courthouse. We also make sure that all of the current liens on the property are released.