How to Choose a Title Company

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By Rochford Law Posted on July 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Buying a home is an investment. The entire process is riddled with nuances, all of which are designed to protect you, the buyer, during the investment. Along the way, you will work with various agents and lenders who will help you throughout the process. One essential component during the closing procedure is working with a trusted title company.

The title company ensures you are purchasing property free and clear from any past issues. They also provide you with an insurance policy that protects you financially from any obstacles that may arise and question your right as the property owner. Having title insurance is not required by law, but almost every lender will have you take out a policy to protect the investment. There are a few things you should look for in a trusted title company.

What to Look for in a Trusted Title Company

Look for title companies that are recommended

Whether you are a first-time buyer or you are moving to a new area, finding a trusted title company is challenging. Your lender and real estate agent should have more than enough recommendations between them. If you have family and friends in the area, ask them for suggestions as well. Most importantly, check on-line reviews on Google. Look to see if any of the names from the different lists appear more than once. Once you've compiled a list of names, you'll need to start your research to see which one suits your needs.

Make sure you choose a company you work with is your choice

Buyers are protected under the Section 9 of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, from sellers forcing them to work with a particular title company. It's not uncommon to find some sellers recommend or suggest you work with a specific title company in the deal, but it's not your obligation to concede. As a buyer, you retain the right to choose the title insurer and have the option to negotiate with the seller to find an agreement that works.

Set up an interview with different title companies

It's worth your time and money to search for a company that offers the best policy and rates. Your lender's recommendation might match up because it parallels their policy. The real estate agent's suggestion might be a partner with competitive prices. Your lender and realtor work regularly with title companies, but you should set up appointments to make sure you are working with one that will help you with this new investment.

Questions You Should Ask A Title Company

Will you share the results?

Title companies research and confirm the property you're buying is free from issues such as unpaid taxes or rightful dependants. Often, a property that has been examined will have some form of a gray area appear after the investigation has concluded. As a homebuyer, it's critical for these issues to be rectified before you close on your home. You want to work with a title company that will not only identify the problem but disclose the information and resolve issues.

Are there any additional fees?

Fees vary widely from company to company. During the interview, it's your time to ask what other financial expenses you can expect. Some of the charges are for tasks such as electronic filing, courier services, preparing documents, and processing. But the list can go on, so you want to confirm in advance what you can expect to pay in addition to your premium.

What are the policy exceptions?

An exception will prohibit your ability to collect money in the event there is a problem down the line. It's common for general exclusions to apply to your policy, but you will want to take time to review all exceptions carefully.  It's not a bad idea to have the policy reviewed by a real estate attorney who can give you unbiased opinions on the deal in front of you.

Do you have a real estate attorney you can recommend?

Advisably, you will already have a real estate attorney if you are buying a new home. If you haven't already secured someone to review the details of your deal, then you will want to obtain one now. The differences between real estate attorneys and title companies are the client. A title company can't provide you with legal advice if you need it. The real estate attorney's only obligation is you and your needs. If you have questions about the policy or need help if an issue presents itself, a trusted attorney will be the only one who can give you legal advice.

Community Title Company is a part of Rochford Real Estate and is a Tennessee Title Insurance agent. If you are looking for comprehensive representation throughout the closing process, contact the offices today or visit our website for more information.

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Topics: Real Estate Title, Title